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73.036 (BF2281)

Alder Moth   

Acronicta alni
Adult: 1
Resident. Scarce.


The grey thorax with the wings covered with dark patches make it a distinctive moth.

Recording Method.

Attracted to light.

Life cycle

One generation. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present during June to August, resting on the upper side of leaves.

Larval foodplants

Larvae feed on birches, willows, oaks and elms, as well as Alder.


Well established woodland with damp areas.


The first instance (BRC data) is not really fully authenticated but records that Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn (VC72). The second, same source, was of a larva found at Springfield, Gretna, late August, 1979. Through regular trapping with MV on the Hensol Estate (VC73) during 1982-84, five more were recorded during May and June.

After 12 years wait, with renewed interest, it was trapped at Kirkton during 1996, 1997 and 1998. During the Scottish Entomologists’ gathering between 21st to 23rd June 1996, another was found at St John’s Town of Dalry (VC73), with a second for 1998 found at Abbey Burn Foot through survey work on the MOD land. The next came from Kippford in mid-June, 2006. Larvae were again found in 2009 during August in Mabie Forest, followed by another larva on 31st July 2010, at Palnackie (VC73).

61 record(s) from 28 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2022 2021 2021

 UK Moths website - further information on species (with photos)

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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