Erebidae : Lymantriinae
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Black Arches
Lymantria monacha

(Linnaeus, 1758) 2033 / 72.010
Photo © Steven Hancock

Immature stages

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Gypsy Moth
Lymantria dispar
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Yorkshire Status: Rare and very local resident.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Not definitely recorded since Porritt (1883-86) when it had been reported from Barnsley, Doncaster (VC63), near Riccall, Selby (VC61) 'and I think also at Bishop's Wood', also at Sheffield in the 'old lists'.

Argus 47, 2001-2004:

VC61. Bishop Burton, 16.8.2004 (MJC). The first record since Porritt (1883-86).

2012 (CHF): One at Bishop Burton on 16.8.2004 was the first since Porritt's time. The following year Lancashire had its first record. This species is doing well to the south of us and is slowly moving north so we may see more records in years to come.

Argus 75, 2015: Following two records in 2014 we have another record from the south of the county and also the first for VC62.

VC62. Bilsdale, 7.8.2015 (EG). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.

2020 (CHF): In Porritt's time, Yorkshire was the northern limit for Black Arches. He described it as occurring at Barnsley, Doncaster, Riccall, Bishop Wood and in "old lists" at Sheffield. There are also some specimens in the Booth Museum at Brighton of adults bred from eggs taken near Middlesbrough in 1913, and this remains the most northerly record in the country. It then retreated southwards in the same pattern as Chocolate-tip to the Midlands and East Anglia, and evidence of spread to the north started about fifty years ago.

It reappeared in Yorkshire in 2004 when a moth was found at Bishop Burton in VC61. The next was not seen until 2014 but it has appeared every year since then in increasing numbers. One at Bilsdale in VC62 in 2015 was a major jump north, but as so often happens this appears to be a wandering potential coloniser and this species has done the usual trick of falling back and consolidating its presence in the south and south-east of the county. In 2020 there were a remarkable ten records from five sites. There was a major jump to the west when one was caught near Hebden Bridge by a new moth trapper, operating her trap for the first time. This of course should really not be allowed! Most likely this was another wandering moth but there is now a population in Lancashire, not too far away. There were no more records from the east of VC61 which was a little surprising. Again, it will be fascinating to see what happens next. Further consolidation in the south-east of Yorkshire is likely, but will we see it colonising other areas in the next few years? The food plant is predominantly oak, so mature oak woodland is the preferred habitat, but it seems to be able to turn up in all sorts of places.

Recorded in 32 (16%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1883.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< White Satin  |  Gypsy Moth >
Forewing: 18-28mm
Flight: July - August
Foodplant:   Oaks, other broadleaved trees and conifers
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 1
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
02/09/2023162SE88 - Pickering (E)
26/08/2023163SK29 - Stocksbridge
24/08/2023162SE47 - Dalton
23/08/2023363SE71 - Crowle
19/08/2023561SE64 - Wheldrake
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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