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73.087 (BF2385)

Small Mottled Willow   

Spodoptera exigua
Adult: 2
Migrant. Scarce.


The narrow forewings that are wrapped around the body help to separate it from other ‘Mottled Willows,’ together with the pale pink or orange oval and kidney-mark.

Recording Method.

Attracted to light, also visits flowers  such as Ivy.

Life cycle

June to October is the main arrival time.

Larval foodplants

Dandelion, Common Restharrow, docks and Groundsel.


Has been trapped at coastal sites, woodland and gardens.

History 1860-2010

First recorded by Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) who during his lifetime had found it at Tynron, Dumfriesshire.

The second was trapped in Dumfries by Robin Knill-Jones on 10th July 1982.

During 1993-2006 it was trapped nearly annually at Kirkton, missing only in six of those years. In 1997 it was trapped on the Eskrigg Nature Reserve at Lockerbie, and also at Durisdeer in 1999.

The first for Kirkcudbrightshire was trapped at Castlemuir Point on 6th August 2003, with further records for that VC came when fifteen were trapped in three traps on 18th August 2006 at Mersehead RSPB.

There were five records from Forest Moor, Wigtownshire, during June-August, 2006, which were the first for that VC.

34 record(s) from 15 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2015 2019 2016

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

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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