Heliothis maritima subsp. warneckei

Range & Status

Restricted to heathlands in Cornwall, Dorset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and Surrey (with single records for Devon and the Isle of Wight). Various subspecies occur on different habitat types in Europe.

Regional Distribution

In Cornwall apparently confined to a small section of heathland on The Lizard at Goonhilly Downs, the last definitely recorded in 1981. The Cornish site is isolated by over 150 miles from the other British sites, which are in two clusters. Recent surveys (in 2008) found no evidence that this species still survives here. A 1984 record at Porthleven might have been of a migrant (Bretherton & Chalmers-Hunt, 1985).

Habitat & Ecology

The larvae feed on Cross-leaved Heath Erica tetralix and other heathers and sometimes Bog Asphodel Narthecium ossifragum . The adults fly in sunshine in June, July and August, depending on season.

Threats

Heath & Emmet (1983) state that heath fires in 1976 seriously reduced populations of this species in some areas.

Conservation

The single known Cornish site is on a National Nature Reserve. A UK BAP priority

species.