Yorkshire Status: Very rare and very local resident.
Argus 47, 2001-2004:
VC63. Wyming Brook, 2.7.2001 (IFC, PH) (Botterill, 2001); Hardcastle Crags, 15.6.2002 (PT, IK). NEW COUNTY RECORD.
Argus 63, 2011:
VC64. Little Preston, 27.6.2011 (JMa). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.
2012 (CHF): First recorded at Wyming Brook in south-west VC63 in 2001. There have been several further records in this area and these have been accompanied by an increase in Lancashire and south Cumbria. This species is slowly moving north-east. The larvae feed on bilberry in woodland and sometimes out on open moorland. There is no shortage of suitable habitat in the county and the moth is likely to continue to slowly expand its range.
Argus 75, 2015: No records from the usual sites but a big jump north to a new site.
VC65. Bellflask - Jetty Wood, 11.7.2015 (BM). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.
Argus 78, 2012: A spectacular jump in range to the north east with the first record for VC62. Remarkably one was caught nearby the following night. The Austerfield record is also well away from the original core area in the south west of the county so it appears that this moth can turn up anywhere. Its foodplant is said to be usually bilberry but some records have been from areas where this does not occur so it can either feed on other food sources or else it is simply liable to wander.
Argus 87, 2019: A very good year for this recent colonist with record numbers seen, and many sites in VC62 and 64 recording it for the first time. It is no surprise that it has now spilled over into VC61 so we have now had records from all five vice-counties.
VC61. Muston, 13.7.2019 (PQW). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD
2020 (CHF): Beautiful Snout is another of the small number of species which have invaded the county from the south-west. Numbers in England started to increase in the 1980s and there was a major movement into Lancashire and south Cumbria. It first appeared in the south-west of VC63 in 2001. Occasional records were seen in the west of the county until 2010, since when it has been seen ever year. The first VC64 record was in 2011 and it appeared in VC65 in 2015. In 2016 it made a big jump to VC62, and it is here that the population has built up as it has evidently found a lot of suitable habitat, especially in the east. Counts of up to ten at light are not uncommon.
The number of records fell slightly in 2020 but came from an impressive 17 sites of which eight were new, the majority being in VC62. It can now evidently be found anywhere in the west or north of the county. It is a moth of open woodland with bilberry, but records spill out onto open moorland and it has a tendency to wander and to be found in sites with no obvious suitable habitat in the vicinity. It occasionally pops up in gardens. The Field Guide says that the food plant is bilberry but European literature suggests heather (Erica and Calluna) as common food plants and it has been found on heather in Ireland. I get the impression that it flies fairly early as I have found it dusking in upland open woodland. I think I was looking for Bilberry Pug at the time, and the two species have a lot of parallels with similar habitat requirements and similar recent expansion of range.
Recorded in 42 (21%) of 200 10k Squares. First Recorded in 2001. Last Recorded in 2022. Additional Stats