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66.001 (BF1631)

December Moth   

Poecilocampa populi
Adult: 1
Resident. Common.

See also Moth of the Week (10/11/2019)


Very distinctive with creamy white markings on a charcoal-coloured forewing.

Life cycle

One generation. Overwinters as an egg which hatches in April. Larvae are present April to June, feeding at night and hiding by day. Pupation taking place among plant debris or under bark.

Larval foodplants

Larvae feed on a range of broadleaved trees, including Oaks, Elms, Birches, hawthorns, Blackthorn and Sallows.


Woodland, scrub, hedrerows and gardens.

History 1860-2010

Lennon (1863) had found it to be not common, but had seen it at Castledykes (VC72). W. Douglas Robinson (1870-71) had found the larvae on two small poplars in August. R. S. Gordon (1913) had found it was common at light at Corsemalzie (VC74) with ten on 8th December 1910. Earliest date was 30th October 1910.

Many records are from the Rothamsted stations that used to operate in each VC, with a few records from daytime observations and a few from traps operated on the warmer winter nights. MOGBI (1992) with their distribution map show records for all three counties.

Probably under recorded due to the late appearance date.

612 record(s) from 40 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2014 2022 2022
66.001 December Moth
66.001 December Moth
66.001 December Moth
66.001 December Moth
66.001 December Moth66.001 December Moth66.001 December Moth66.001 December Moth

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

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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