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A beautiful, day-flying moth of open woodlands and woodland edges. It is on the wing in May and June with occasional individuals found into July. It is clearly a ‘western species’ throughout the UK but in Scotland it can be regarded as a speciality of D&G as it can be quite common in our woodland habitats but is found only very occasional in the rest of Southern Scotland. It does become more frequent again in the Highlands including extending further east. We have 528 records for it in D&G including ones for all three Vice-counties although there are no recent records for Wigtownshire and relatively few from Dumfriesshire. However, many of the records are from Mabie Forest where it is not only quite common but also very well recorded through the annual butterfly transects carried out over many years. A few records have come from a moth trap!

This moth has been recorded every year since 2000 and the observations include seeing it feeding on bluebell, bird’s-foot trefoil and dandelion. The larval food-plants include wood sage, white dead-nettle and woundwort all common and widespread in D&G. The caterpillar is not particularly distinctive being green with a darker dorsal line, several fine whitish lines along the back and sides and a shining green head. The broad spiracular stripe is white with a darker green upper edge. It feeds in July and August and pupates underground.

This is definitely an insect to be enjoyed in the sunshine but do look out for it in woodlands especially to the west and to the east just to make sure that it is not one of the declining species.

MOTW – Speckled Yellow
Speckled Yellow Pseudopanthera macularia
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