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70.237 (BF1917)

Early Thorn   

Selenia dentaria
Adult: 2
Resident, common, widespread. Widespread throughout Britain.


The unique resting position of holding its wings over its back pressed together will separate it from all other thorns.

Recording method

Often comes to lighted windows, comes to light traps.

Life cycle

Two generations. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present mid-May to Late June, again August to early October.

Larval foodplants

Alder, Blackthorn, Bog-myrtle, Downy Birch, Hawthorn, Hazel, Honeysuckle, Sallows and Silver Birch.


Gardens, hedgerows, scrub and woodland areas.


First recorded for Dumfries and Galloway in 1858 for VC72 near Moffat by Somerville who ‘found the larvae on birch’, in 1870 for VC73 in Colvend parish by White and in 1897 for VC74 at Corsemalzie by Gordon who ‘found it common, flying along hedgerows at dusk’.

1934 record(s) from 60 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2021 2022 2022
70.237 Early Thorn
70.237 Early Thorn
70.237 Early Thorn
70.237 Early Thorn70.237 Early Thorn70.237 Early Thorn

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

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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