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70.282 (BF1960)

Early Moth   

Theria primaria
Adult: 2
Resident, scarce, local. Widespread in England and Wales, scattered records in southern Scotland to Perthshire.


Male is distinctive. Female is wingless (apterous).

Recording method

Males can be seen after dusk flying along hawthorn and blackthorn hedges, comes to light.  Probably under-recorded due to it emerging in January and February.

Life cycle

One generation. Overwinters as a pupa just below the ground. Larvae are present early April to late May.

Larval foodplants

Larvae feed on Hawthorn and Blackthorn.


Woodland, scrub and hedgerows.


First recorded for Dumfries and Galloway in 1862 for VC72 near Dumfries by Lennon who reported it as ‘not very common around the Dumfries area’, in 1906 for VC74 at Corsemalzie by Gordon who found it ‘common at rest on birch twigs and hedges in Wigtownshire’ and in 1974 at Sandyhills by Ford.

103 record(s) from 19 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2011 2018 2020

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

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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