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Speckled footman moth fact file

Speckled footman moth description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderLepidoptera
FamilyArctiidae
GenusCoscinia

This species of moth is very variable in the colouration and markings of the invertebrates_freshwater

Speckled footman moth biology

The moths emerge in July and are on the wing throughout the next two months. They favour a number of herbaceous plants as food sources for their caterpillars, including dandelion. The caterpillars are small and coloured with dark grey, almost black, spiky hairs. They hatch in September and overwinter until early spring.

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Speckled footman moth range

The Speckled Footman is scattered across Europe as far south as the Mediterranean and into North Africa, and eastwards as far as Siberia. In the UK, it was once widespread but, since 1990, has only been recorded from heaths in Dorset.

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Speckled footman moth habitat

This is, essentially, a heathland species, favouring dry habitats with plenty of its food plants, which include various species of grass.

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Species found in a similar habitat

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    Speckled footman moth threats

    Heathland has been a threatened habitat for years, through losses to agriculture, urban development, and forestry planting as well as fires and drainage projects.

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    Speckled footman moth conservation

    The Speckled Footman moth is listed as a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, and is included in English Nature's Species Recovery Programme. In order to safeguard the species’ future in the UK, it is vital that its true status is established. The action plan recommends that a full survey of its former sites be undertaken and genetic testing carried out to determine whether the subspeciesbivittata is endemic to Britain. Only then will it be decided if a re-introduction programme using captive-bred British moths should be carried out, or whether moths introduced from the continent could be used. It may even be proved that individuals from the continent migrate to the UK and interbreed with the resident moths.

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

    The UK BAP Species Action Plan is available on-line at:
    http://www.ukbap.org.uk

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    Authentication

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

    Glossary

    Endemic
    A species or taxonomic groinvertebrates_freshwater

    References

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    Image credit

    Speckled Footman  
    Speckled Footman

    © David Green / British Butterfly Conservation Society Ltd

    Butterfly Conservation
    Manor Yard
    East Lulworth
    Wareham
    Dorset
    BH20 5QP
    United Kingdom
    Tel: +44 (0) 1929 400 209
    info@butterfly-conservation.org
    http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/

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