Sunday, 23 February 2020

4th in the series 'One to look out for' - the Small Brindled Beauty

I think there's something quite amusing about the Small Brindled Beauty, its a 'cheeky little chap' and one I look forwards to seeing each year. It's a fairly local and uncommon species in Montgomeryshire and usually found is very small numbers throughout its flight season which can be in February or March, but its actual flight time is usually only for a couple of weeks or so, so this can be earlier or later depending on the weather condition at the time. Its short flight time, early in the year probably accounts for the small numbers of records we have in our database and I doubt if it would ever be recorded in larger numbers, no matter how much recording was done. The dot map (shown on the species page) shows that it has only been recorded at seven different sites in the county during the past ten years, but I feel that this number could be improved upon slightly with a bit more recording.

As I've said, the moth is on the wing late winter-early spring, but the female (as with several species in the group) is wingless. The male (as can be seen below) has a quite furry appearance, especially around the thorax and is easily recognisable. It is easily attracted to light. After mating the female climbs up its foodplant (deciduous tree species), probably not far from where she emerged from her chrysalis; these include pedunculate oak, hawthorn, silver birch, hazel, elm, hornbeam and chestnut to lay its eggs. The larvae feed until fully grown, then they pupate underground until they emerge the following spring.

If you would like a bit more information on the the Small Brindled Beauty please go to its species page on our website - click here.


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