Status and Distribution
Very local in several parts of the Highlands of Scotland. Historic records are known from at least five other well scattered locations extending from south Devon to the Clyde area. The record from Devon is considered unreliable and that from Gloucestershire is open to question (Parsons, M., 2015. Possible and Potential Moth Extinctions in England). Of the remaining sites, it was last recorded in 1912 (Co. Durham) and is now considered extinct in England.
Bradley & Fletcher no:
Maps updated with all data received by January 2020.
Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs
Lotus corniculatus (bird's-foot-trefoil), see plant distribution map, Lathyrus linifolius (formerly montanus - bitter-vetch) and Trifolium pratense (red clover).
In Europe also found on Securigera varia (crown vetch), Lathyrus pratensis (meadow vetchling), Medicago minima (bur medick), M. sativa (lucerne), Onobrychis (sainfoin) and Vicia cracca (tufted vetch).
In Meyrick, E., 1927, A Revised Handbook of Lepidoptera, Coronilla (now Securigera) and Medicago are listed as food-plants but this is considered unlikely, as is a European report of Achillea millefolium (yarrow), (Emmet and Langmaid, 2002).
In Scotland, on partially sheltered and sunny slopes which are either predominantly flowery grassland or grass-heath. They are at low altitude in Highland lower valley sides and often occur alongside Athrips tetrapunctella (thanks to Dr. M. R. Young for these details and observations).
Habitat not described in England.
Finding the Moth
Larva: spins leaves together from which it feeds on surrounding foliage.
Adult: flies low over the foodplant at dusk.
Forewings without any obvious markings, the scales being light fuscous, tipped with buff. The head and thorax are of a similar colour but the palpi are buffish tinged reddish towards the base of segment two when fresh and more whitish towards the apex of segment three. If this species is suspected away from the known locations in Scotland it is recommended the record be supported with no more than a single voucher specimen due to the moths status.
Single brooded from late May to the end of June.
Very limited data available on the flight period in Britain.