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Straw belle moth fact file

Straw belle moth description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderLepidoptera
FamilyGeometridae
GenusAspitates

The hindwings of this moth are white with a faint diagonal grey streak and a dot on the invertebrates_freshwater

Straw belle moth biology

The straw belle moth is a resident of the UK. It normally flies at dusk but, if disturbed, will fly during the day. The moth emerges in July and is on the wing until August. The eggs are laid on a number of different chalk grassland plants including, thyme, cinquefoil and wild parsnip.

The caterpillars hatch in September and spend the winter as very small larvae, re-emerging in spring. They pinvertebrates_freshwater

Straw belle moth range

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Straw belle moth habitat

This is a species which inhabits chalk downland, especially that which is regularly grazed, on which its food plants can grow.

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Straw belle moth status

Classified as Rare in the UK.

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Straw belle moth threats

This species has declined severely in recent decades, chiefly through loss of its habitat. This has been caused by a number of factors including road construction, housing and industrial development, and especially agricultural improvement to the calcareous grassland, which reduces the numbers of wildflower species. There has also been a decline in the traditional forms of grazing which have also led to habitat changes. There have been a number of cases of accidental and deliberate burning of the grasslands which sinvertebrates_freshwater

Straw belle moth conservation

As a result of the decline of the straw belle moth in the UK, it was introduced into English Nature's Species Recovery Programme. It is also listed as a UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UKBAP) priority species. In partnership with Butterfly Conservation, English Nature have drawn invertebrates_freshwater The remaining sites where the moth is found are all declared Sites of Special Scientific Importance (SSSIs) and the management agreements for these sites reflect the habitat requirements of the species. Two agri-environment schemes are available for landowners to encourage appropriate management of these sites and the aim is to achieve this by the year 2005. It is also hoped that by restoring other sites within the moth's former range, a re-introduction programme might be possible. Survey work, with the aim of identifying suitable locations and achieving the right type of land management, is invertebrates_freshwater

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
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Find out more

  • For more information see Butterfly Conservation:
    http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/
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    Authentication

    This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be invertebrates_freshwater

    Glossary

    Agri-environment schemes
    These schemes allow the government to compensate farmers for using methods that benefit the environment. The two main initiatives in the UK are the Countryside Stewardship Scheme and Environmentally Sensitive Areas. Since October 2000 these have formed part of the England Rural Development Programme (EDRP), administered by DEFRA, the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs. For more on these initiatives see: http://www.defra.gov.uk/erdp/erdphome.htm
    Calcareous
    Containing free calcium carbonate, chalky.
    Larvae
    Stage in an animal's lifecycle after it hatches from the egg. Larvae are typically very different in appearance to adults; they are able to feed and move around but usually are unable to reproduce.
    Pinvertebrates_freshwater

    References

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    Image credit

    Straw Belle  
    Straw Belle

    © Paul Waring

    Paul Waring
    Windmill View
    1366 Lincoln Road
    Werrington
    Peterborough
    PE4 6LS
    United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0) 1733 571 917
    paul_waring@btinternet.com

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