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73.064 (BF2299)

Mouse Moth   

Amphipyra tragopoginis
Adult: 1
Resident. Common.


Unmistakable, especially when it creeps away like a mouse.

Recording Method.

Attracted to light, also comes to sugar.

Life cycle

One generation. Overwinters as an egg. Larvae are present April to June, with pupation in a cocoon close to the ground surface.

Larval foodplants

A wide variety of herbaceous plants like teasels, Fennel and Mugwort, but also sallows and hawthorns.


Woodland, gardens, moorland, fens and sand-dunes.


Gordon (1913) had found it common at sugar in the woods and on the moors around Corsemalzie, Wigtownshire.
William Evans received specimens from Mowat, the Killantringan lighthouse keeper during 1913-15 to aid his insect migration studies. Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn, Tynron and Castlehill, Dumfries (all VC72). Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43.

During 1975-92 there were only twenty-seven records from the Rothamsted stations. It was also trapped on the Hensol Estate in 1983, while in August 1987 Bernard Skinner had found it at Sandhead (VC74).

From 1990 to 2010 two sites dominated the 170 odd records, Kirkton (VC72) and Mersehead RSPB. There are a number of other records from a wide scattering of sites across the region.

384 record(s) from 42 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2021 2022 2022

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

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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