A. Spalding, L.A.C. Truscott and J. Worth

This account updates the previous account by Spalding and Smith. The Lepidoptera are a well-studied group in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. The region is regularly visited by naturalists from elsewhere, but is home to a large number of enthusiastic and expert entomologists specialising in butterflies and/or moths. The number of moth traps in regular use has increased dramatically in recent years, leading to the formation of the Cornwall Moth Group, and there is increased interest in butterflies, led by the Cornwall branch of Butterfly Conservation. Since the previous account was published there have been two major publishing events associated with the world of Cornish Lepidoptera: the comprehensive Cornwall list by Frank Smith published in 1997 (plus the supplement issued in 2002) and the Cornwall Butterfly Atlas produced in 2003 by the Cornwall branch of Butterfly Conservation. There have been major changes in personnel: Frank Smith retired as recorder for Cornwall, to be succeeded first by Robin Howard and then by Tony James assisted by Leon Truscott (VC2 moth recorder) and John Worth (Cornwall butterfly recorder).

The classification of the Lepidoptera for RDB and Notable status is based on the review by Warren (1992) for butterflies, Waring (1992) for the so-called macros, Parsons (1993) for the Pyralidae, Parsons (1995) for the Gelechiidae, Ethmiinae and Scythrididae, and an unpublished provisional list complied by English Nature (now Natural England) from three publications by Parsons (1984, 1993 and 1995). For those groups not included in any listing (notably the Momphidae, Cosmopterigidae, Tortricidae and Pterophoridae), we have classified the moths according to the review by Ball (1986), which although now considerably out-of-date remains the only listing available. Aglossa caprealis is included in this account despite not being officially classified because in the opinion of the authors it qualifies as a pRDB species. The following species were upgraded for the original account from notable to pRDB on the advice of Dr K.P. Bland and R.J. Heckford: Elachista cahorsensis, Coleophora serpylletorum, Infurcitinea captans and Batrachedra parvulipunctella; the last named is now considered an adventive but has been included in these accounts for the sake of completeness. Accounts of some notable species of butterfly (Wood White, Brown Hairstreak, Silver-studded Blue, Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Marsh Fritillary) have been included because of their importance in the Cornish context; they are all UK BAP species. In 1997, we were criticised for omitting an account of Marsh Fritillary, even though it is not a RDB species; Cornwall is nationally important for this butterfly, as it is for Silver-studded Blue and Pearl-bordered Fritillary.

Several published works have been consulted in drawing up this account, including the Cornwall list prepared by Smith (1984), the summary by Smith (1992) and the Cornwall list (Smith, 1997). The local lists for butterflies (Frost & Madge, 1991) and the overview by Spalding (1992) were also useful. The Caradon Field and Natural History Club (Mackonochie (1985-2004), Gibbon (2005 to date), Spalding (1985-1995), Birkett (1996-2004) and Truscott (2005 to date) publishes annual accounts and the Cornwall branch of Butterfly Conservation publishes an annual atlas (Spalding (1994a), Worth (1995, 1996 and 2003-2008 in prep.).

The increase in recording activity means that for some species at least we can show real changes in their range and abundance. The various butterfly transects established in the region also provide valuable data on the periodic population fluctuations of some of our key species. In the previous account we wrote that the region has some success stories (e.g. the conservation of the Heath Fritillary) but some failures (notably the loss of the Large Blue). The situation is now reversed: the re-introduction of the Large Blue in 2000 continues to be a success and is the precursor of more re-introductions to the north coast of Cornwall, whereas the Heath Fritillary became extinct in one its sites (where it has since been re-introduced). We know much more about the distribution of Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Marsh Fritillary in Cornwall than we did 10 years ago; there has been considerable conservation effort centred on both species since then. For the moths, new colonies of Scarce Blackneck and the Scarce Merveille-du-Jour have been found, and Dingy Mocha and Portland Ribbon Wave are new to Cornwall.

We wish to acknowledge the valuable help of R.J. Heckford in generously providing details of his research on the distribution and ecology of several of the so-called micro moths; without his help many of the following accounts would be lacking in up-to-date information. In addition we would like to acknowledge the assistance of Robin Howard, Tony James and Rosemary Parslow.

Stigmella prunetorum

Heterogenea asella Triangle

Luffia lapidella

Infurcitinea captans

Oinophila v-flava Yellow V Moth

Phyllonorycter staintoniella

Yponomeuta rorrella Willow Ermine

Acrolepiopsis assectella Leek Moth

Coleophora serpylletorum

Elachista cahorsensis

Tachystola acroxantha

Agonopterix kuznetzovi

Bryotropha dryadella

Prolita solutella

Nothris congressariella

Syncopacma suecicella

Batrachedra parvulipunctella

Mompha lacteella

Cosmopterix orichalcea

Pancalia schwarzella

Archips oporana

Acleris umbrana

Epinotia subsequana

Pammene obscurana

Phlyctaenia stachydalis

Aglossa caprealis Small Tabby

Homoeosoma nimbella

Agdistis meridionalis

Merrifieldia tridactyla

Leptidea sinapis Wood White

Thecla betulae Brown Hairstreak

Plebejus argus Silver-studded Blue

Maculinea arion Large Blue

Nymphalis polychloros Large Tortoiseshell

Boloria euphrosyne Pearl-bordered Fritillary

Argynnis adippe High Brown Fritillary

Euphydryas aurinia Marsh Fritillary

Mellicta athalia Heath Fritillary

Cyclophora pendularia Dingy Mocha

Idaea degeneraria Portland Ribbon Wave

Leucochlaena oditis Beautiful Gothic

Jodia croceago Orange Upperwing

Moma alpium Scarce Merveille du Jour

Cosmia diffinis White-spotted Pinion

Luperina nickerlii leechi Sandhill Rustic

Heliothis maritima warneckei Shoulder-striped Clover

Lygephila craccae Scarce Blackneck

Hypena obsitalis Bloxworth Snout


* = migrant species

VCH = Victoria County History record

Numbers according to Bradley & Fletcher (1986).


7 Eriocrania chrysolepidella (Zeller) VC2 Nb

49 Trifurcula eurema (Tutt) VC1 Nb

57 Stigmella filipendulae (Wocke) VC1 Nb

58 Stigmella ulmariae (Wocke) VC2 Nb

162 Cossus cossus (Linnaeus) Goat Moth VC1, VC2 Nb

200 Psychoides filicivora (Meyrick) IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

219 Nemapogon ruricolella (Stainton) VC2 Nb

220 Nemapogon clematella (Fabricius) VC1, VC2 Nb

231 Monopis imella (Hübner) VC1 Nb

370 Sesia apiformis (Clerck) Hornet Moth VC2 Nb

373 Synanthedon tipuliformis (Clerck) Currant Clearwing VC1, VC2 Nb

374 Synanthedon vespiformis (Linnaeus) Yellow-legged Clearwing VC2 Nb

380 Synanthedon formicaeformis (Esper) Red-tipped Clearwing VC1 Nb

382 Bembecia scopigera (Scopoli) Six-belted Clearwing VC2 Nb

383 Bembecia muscaeformis (Esper) Thrift Clearwing IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

392 Glyphipteryx schoenicolella Boyd VC1, VC2 Nb

393 Glyphipteryx equitella (Scopoli) VC1, VC2 Nb

394 Glyphipteryx forsterella (Fabricius) VC1, VC2 Nb

431 Yponomeuta sedella Treitschke VC1, VC2 Nb

487 Metriotes lutarea (Haworth) VC2 Nb

494a Coleophora prunifoliae Doets VC2 Nb

521 Coleophora conyzae Zeller VC1 Nb

552 Coleophora lassella Staudinger VC1 Nb

561 Coleophora therinella Tengstrm IOS Nb

572 Coleophora vestianella (Linnaeus) IOS Nb

580 Coleophora sylvaticella Wood VC2 Nb

586 Coleophora adjunctella Hodgkinson VC1, VC2 Nb

593 Elachista regificella Sircom VC1, VC2 Nb

626 Biselachista serricornis (Stainton) VC2 Nb

628 Biselachista eleochariella (Stainton) VC2 Nb

673 Depressaria pimpinellae Zeller VCH, IOS, VC2 Nb

699 Agonopterix bipunctosa (Curtis) VC1, VC2 Nb

731a Eulamprotes immaculatella (Douglas) VC1 Notable

734 Argolamprotes micella ([D&S]) VC1, VC2 Notable

753 Aristotelia brizella (Treitschke) VC2 Nb

777a Bryotropha dryadella (Zeller) VC1, VC2 Nb

826 Caryocolum vicinella (Douglas VC1, VC2 Nb

827 Caryocolum alsinella (Zeller) IOS, VC1 Notable

871 Oegoconia caradjai Popescu-Gorj & Capuse IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

880 Mompha langiella Hübner VC1 Nb

881 Mompha terminella (Humphreys & Westwood) VC1, VC2 Nb

889 Mompha divisella Herrich-Schffer VC1, VC2 Nb

926 Phalonidia manniana (Fischer von Rslerstamm) VC1, VC2 Nb

930 Phalonidia alismana (Ragonot) VCH only Nb

967 Cochylis pallidana Zeller IOS, VC1 Nb

1012 Sparganothis pilleriana ([D&S]) VCH only Nb

1034 Spatalistis bifasciana (Hübner) VC1, VC2 Nb

1069 Olethreutes aurofasciana (Haworth) VC2 Nb

1080 Olethreutes arcuella (Clerck) VC2 Nb

1112 Bactra robustana (Christoph) IOS, VC1 Nb

1157 Crocidosema plebejana Zeller IOS, VC1, VC2 Na

1164 Zeiraphera rufimitrana (Herrich-Schffer) VC1 Nb

1189 Eriopsela quadrana (Hübner) VC2 Nb

1206 Clavigesta sylvestrana (Curtis, W.) IOS, VC1 Nb

1217 Eucosmomorpha albersana (Hübner) VC2 Nb

1220 Collicularia microgrammana (Guene) VC2 Nb

1222 Strophedra nitidana (Fabricius) VC2 Nb

1229 Pammene albuginana (Guene) VC1, VC2 Nb

1236 Pammene fasciana (Linnaeus) VC1, VC2 Nb

1237 Pammene germmana (Hübner) VC2 Nb

1238 Pammene ochsenheimeriana (Lienig & Zeller) VC2 Nb

1277 Dichrorampha senectana (Guene) VC2 Nb

1280 Dichrorampha consortana Stephens VC1, VC2 Nb

1297 Crambus uliginosellus Zeller VC1, VC2 Nb

1299 Crambus hamella (Thunberg) VCH only Nb

1300 Crambus pratella (Linnaeus) VCH only Nb

1321 Thisanotia chrysonuchella (Scopoli) VCH only Nb

1323 Pediasia contaminella (Hübner) IOS, VC2? Nb

1324 Pediasia aridella (Thunberg) VC1 Nb

1341 Eudonia lineola (Curtis) IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

1343 Eudonia delunella (Stainton) VC1, VC2 Nb

1357 Evergestis extimalis (Scopoli) VC1, VC2 Nb

*1368 Margaritia sticticalis (Linnaeus) VC1 Extinct

*1370 Sitochroa palealis ([D&S]) IOS, VC1, VC2 Notable

1373 Microstega pandalis (Hübner) Bordered Pearl VC2 Na

1374 Microstega hyalinalis (Hübner) VCH only Nb

1379 Mutuuraia terrealis (Treitschke) VC1, VC2 Nb

1397 Mecyna asinalis (Hübner) IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

1399 Dolicharthria punctalis ([D&S]) IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

1414 Synaphe punctalis (Fabricius) IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

1449 Microthrix similella Zincken VC1 Nb

1456 Epischnia banksiella Richardson VC1, VC2 Na

1467 Ancylosis oblitella (Zeller) IOS, VC1 Notable

1469 Euzophera cinerosella (Zeller) VCH only Nb

1480 Homoeosoma nebulella ([D&S]) IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

1486 Apomyelois bistriatella neophanes (Durrant) VC1, VC2 Nb

1503 Platyptilia ochrodactyla ([D&S]) VC1 Nb

1528 Thymelicus acteon (Rottemburg) Lulworth Skipper VC2 (adventive) Notable

1558 Strymonidia w-album (Knoch) White-letter Hairstreak VC2 Notable

1633 Eriogaster lanestris (Linnaeus) Small Eggar VCH only Nb

1636 Lasiocampa trifolii ([D&S]) Grass Eggar IOS, VC1 Na

1670 Chlorissa viridata (Linnaeus) Small Grass Emerald VC1 Na

1676 Cyclophora annulata (Schulze) Mocha VCH only Nb

1701 Idaea sylvestraria (Hübner) Dotted-border Wave VC2 Nb

1718 Phibalapteryx virgata (Hufnagel) Oblique-stripe VCH Nb

1731 Scotopteryx bipunctaria cretata (Prout) Chalk Carpet VC2 Nb

1735 Catarhoe rubidata ([D&S]) Ruddy Carpet VC1, VC2 Nb

1751 Lampropteryx otregiata (Metcalfe) Devon Carpet VC1, VC2 Nb

1787 Rheumaptera hastata (Linnaeus) Argent & Sable VC2 Nb

1793 Euphyia biangulata (Haworth) Cloaked Carpet VC2 Nb

1814 Eupithecia plumbeolata (Haworth) Lead-coloured Pug VC2 Nb

1818 Eupithecia irriguata (Hübner) Marbled Pug VC2 Nb

1821 Eupithecia valerianata (Hübner) Valerian Pug VC2 Nb

1833 Eupithecia expallidata Doubleday Bleached Pug VC2 Nb

1836 Eupithecia denotata jasioneata Crewe Jasione Pug VC1, VC2 Na

1843 Eupithecia distinctaria constrictata Guene Thyme Pug VC1, VC2 Nb

1845 Eupithecia pimpinellata (Hübner) Pimpinel Pug VC1 Nb

1861 Chloroclystis debiliata (Hübner) Bilberry Pug VC1, VC2 Nb

1865 Chesias rufata rufata (Fabricius) Broom-tip VC1, VC2 Nb

1872 Discoloxia blomeri Curtis, W. Blomer’s Rivulet VC1, VC2 Nb

1877 Hydrelia sylvata ([D&S]) Waved Carpet VC1, VC2 Nb

1911 Ennomos autumnaria (Werneburg) Large Thorn VCH Nb

1942 Alcis jubata (Thunberg) Dotted Carpet VC1, VC2 Nb

1970 Perconia strigillaria (Hübner) Grass Wave VC1 Nb

1982 Hemaris tityus (Linnaeus) Narrow-bordered Bee Hawk VC1, VC2 Na

1983 Hemaris fuciformis (Linnaeus) Broad-bordered Bee Hawk VCH only Nb

1996 Furcula bicuspis (Borkhausen) Alder Kitten VC2 Nb

2039 Atolmis rubricollis (Linnaeus) Red-necked Footman IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2043 Eilema sororcula (Hufnagel) Orange Footman VC1, VC2 Nb

2045 Eilema caniola (Hübner) Hoary Footman IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2062 Spilosoma urticae (Esper) Water Ermine VC2 Nb

2067 Euplagia quadripunctaria (Poda) Jersey Tiger VC2 Nb

2076 Meganola albula ([D&S]) Kent Black Arches IOS, VC1,VC2 Nb

2080 Euxoa obelisca (Tutt) Square-spot Dart IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2084 Agrotis cinerea ([D2&S]) Light Feathered Rustic VC2 Nb

2090 Agrotis trux (Hübner) Crescent Dart IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2093 Agrotis ripae (Hübner) Sand Dart IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2099 Actebia praecox (Linnaeus) Portland Moth VC2 Nb

2108 Noctua orbona (Hufnagel) Lunar Yellow Underwing IOS, VC2 Na

2140 Cerastis leucographa ([D&S]) White-marked VC2 Nb

2152 Sideridis albicolon (Hübner) White Colon VC1, VC2 Nb

2169 Hadena luteago barrettii (Doubleday) Barrett’s Marbled Coronet VC1, VC2 Na

2191 Mythimna turca (Linnaeus) Double Line VC1, VC2 Nb

2201 Mythimna litoralis (Curtis) Shore Wainscot IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2202 Mythimna l-album (Linnaeus) L-album Wainscot IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2206 Mythimna putrescens (Hübner) Devonshire Wainscot VC1, VC2 Na

2211 Cucullia absinthii (Linnaeus) Wormwood VC1 Nb

2230 Aporophyla australis pascuea (H.& W.) Feathered Brindle VC1, VC2 Nb

2241 Xylena vetusta (Hübner) Red Sword-grass VC1, VC2 Nb

2242 Xylena exsoleta (Linnaeus) Sword-grass VC1, VC2 Nb/Na

2253 Polymixis xanthomista statices (Gregson) Black-banded IOS, VC1, VC2 Na

2260 Conistra rubiginea ([D&S]) Dotted Chestnut VC1, VC2 Nb

2290 Simyra albovenosa (Goeze) Reed Dagger VC2 Nb

2373 Archanara sparganii (Esper) Webb’s Wainscot IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2391 Chilodes maritimus (Tauscher) Silky Wainscot IOS, VC1, VC2 Nb

2480 Hypena rostralis (Linnaeus) Buttoned Snout VC1, VC2 Nb

2482 Schrankia taenialis (Hübner) White-lined Snout VC1, VC2 Nb