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Gold Spot
Plusia festucae (Linnaeus, 1758)
Noctuidae: Plusiinae
2439 / 73.022
Photo © Tom Morris,  Alderholt

Similar Dorset Species
Lempke's Gold Spot
Plusia putnami
Forewing: 14-19mm
Flight: June - July and August - September
Foodplant:   Sedges, Yellow Iris, Branched Bur-reed, Water-plantain
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread wetland species in Britain, the larva feeding on sedges (Carex spp.), yellow iris (Iris pseudacorus) and water plantain (Alisma plantago-aquatica). In Dorset, the moth is local and at low density colonising fen, river, stream, ditch and lake habitat wherever reasonable quantities of its foodplants may be found. It has a tendency to wander, and has been trapped on dry soils well away from core habitat. The national norm is for a single brood in the north of Britain in July and August, and a double brood in the south in June and July and again in August and September.A univoltine and a bivoltine cycle is suspected, with the dominant single brood from late-July until late-August, and a double brood apparent in June and from early September to early October.

The exceptional heatwave in the first half of August 2003 brought with it many local wetland moths to non-wetland localities. Species included Small Rufous2379, Twin-spotted Wainscot2370, Brown-veined Wainscot2371, Webb's Wainscot2373 and Bulrush Wainscot2369. Chief amongst these was the Gold-spot, and immigration from continental Europe may account for many of the following: Bridport, on 5 August (D Wedd), Walditch, on 11 August (M Parsons), West Bexington, on 2, 4, 6 and 7 August (R Eden), Dorchester, two on 5 August (J Down), Portland, on 3, 5, 7, two on 8 and 10 August (M Cade), Preston, on 5 August (M Forster), on 7 August (R Lambert), Puddletown, two on 11, 12 and 14 August (H Wood Homer), Motcombe, on 5 August (P Butter), Gillingham, on 6 August (G Hopkins), Shaggs, on 4 and 12 August (Butterfly Conservation), Wool, two on 3, seven on 5, two on 7 and two on 13 August (D Cooper), Trigon, on 4, 6 and 7 August (C Manley), Winterborne Stickland, on 7 and two on 9 August (L de Whalley), Slepe Farm, two on 4, four on 5, two on 6, five on 7, 14 August (D Cooper), Swanage, on 7 August (R Cox), 10 August (D Leadbetter), Durlston, on 7 August (J McGill), Hengistbury Head, on 4 and 6 August (M Jeffes).

Recorded in 35 (88%) of 40 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1934.
Last Recorded in 2019.
(Data up to end 2019)

Latest 5 Records (Data up to end 2019)
Date#VC10k Area
25/10/201919SY79 - Puddletown
11/10/201919SY79 - Puddletown
05/10/201919SY79 - Puddletown
04/10/201919SY98 - Wareham
02/10/201919SY67 - Portland / Weymouth
Further info: Plusia festucae
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