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73.338 (BF2118)

True Lover's Knot   

Lycophotia porphyrea
Adult: 1
Resident. Common.


Very distinctive.

Recording Method.

Attracted to light, also comes to  flowers.

Life cycle

One generation. Overwinters as a larva during August to May, with pupation in a cocoon at ground level.

Larval foodplants

Bell Heather and Heather.


High moorland and acid heathland.


Lennon (1863) had stated that it was not common, but that it had occurred at Kirkconnell (VC73). The six people who went on the Dumfries and Galloway Natural History Society Field Meeting to Cairnsmore of Fleet on 2nd July 1881 as recorded in the Transactions, were treated to a “dark brown moth with a net-work pattern on the wings, from which it received its common English Name.”

K. J. Morton of Edinburgh (1900) while on a visit in July 1899 to Wigtownshire had found this species in the Monreith area. Gordon (1913) had found it to be common on all the moors in Wigtownshire, finding it very common on heather blossom. It also came to sugar in the woods around Corsemalzie, during June. Earliest date was 18th June 1899.

William Evans received specimens from Mowat, the Killantringan lighthouse keeper during 1913-14 to aid his insect migration studies.

Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43. Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn, Tynron and Castlehill, Dumfries (all VC72).

During 1974-81 it was recorded twenty-four times from five of the Rothamsted stations, then, during 1985-93, Mabie Forest station recorded twenty records. Caerlaverock did not record it.

From 1991-2010 the regular trapped sites at Kirkton, Durisdeer, Cally Woods, Kirkcudbright and Mersehead RSPB provided a number of the 370 records, with the rest from widely scattered sites across the region.

1115 record(s) from 76 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2022 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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