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70.094 (BF1759)

Small Phoenix   

Ecliptopera silaceata
Adult: 1
Resident, common, widespread. UK BAP Priority Species. Widespread throughout Britain and expanding in Scotland.


Care required to separate from the rarer Phoenix and the spring occurring Water Carpet. Compared to those species the cross-band is of a different shape and on insulata it is broken.

Recording method

Readily disturbed from willowherb during the day, comes to light and sugar.

Life cycle

Two generations. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present late June to late July, again, late August to September.

Larval foodplants

Willowherbs and Enchanter’s-nightshade.


Mainly woodland rides, but wherever the foodplant grows.


First recorded for Dumfries and Galloway in 1892 for VC72 at Terregles by Lennon who noted that it was ‘not common’,  in 1910 for VC74 at Corsemalzie by Gordon but not until 1943 for VC72 at Closeburn by Smith.

In the form insulata (Haworth, 1809) the dark central band is interrupted by two white lines. It was first noted at Kirkland (VC72) on 31st May 2010, with further records from Dumfriesshire, noted at Courance. There is one record from VC73 and that occurred at East Barcloy on 21st June 2010.

2074 record(s) from 65 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2021 2022 2022
70.094 Small Phoenix
70.094 Small Phoenix
70.094 Small Phoenix70.094 Small Phoenix

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

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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