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72.020 (BF2060)

White Ermine   

Spilosoma lubricipeda
Adult: 1
Resident. Common. UK BAP Priority Species.



Life cycle

Two generations. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present July to September.

Larval foodplants

Common Nettle, docks and many other herbaceous plants.


A wide variety of urban and rural sites.

History 1860-2010

Lennon (1863) had found it common everywhere. Douglas Robinson (1870-71) had found the White Ermine in June and stated it as “not rare” around Almorness (VC73). K. J. Morton of Edinburgh (1900) whilst on a visit in July 1899 to Wigtownshire had found this species in the Monreith area. Gordon (1913) had found the White Ermine to be common at light at Corsemalzie (VC74).

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.

With 850 records it was well recorded from all the Rothamsted stations, and that trend continued from 1992 to 2010, being trapped widely across the region and proving to be extremely common.

The striated form ab. godarti was first found at Southwick (VC73) on 9th July 1947. There have been other records of this form.

3744 record(s) from 74 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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