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Blossom Underwing Orthosia miniosa

B&F: 2183

ABH: 73.243

Status: Resident.

Distribution and Abundance: Local.

Primary Habitat: Woodland.

Flight Period: Single brooded in March and April.

Localities: Hazelborough Wood, Salcey Forest, Yardley Chase and Fermyn Woods.

Observations: Historically more widespread in the county and then restricted to south Northants recently the species appears to have extended its range northwards once again. The moth prefers areas of open woodland and I well remember many of our unsuccessful attempts in the 1970’s to update records from some of the old sites such as Castor Hanglands, Bedford Purlieus, Geddington Chase and Hardwick Wood.  In the 1980’s caterpillars were found commonly in Salcey Forest feeding on hawthorn bushes growing under the oaks prompting searches for larvae in the old localities that also failed. Over the past few years’ singletons have been seen in north Northants and the moth was recorded annually from 2006 to 2009 at m.v. light in Woodnewton. Further evidence of the spread was obtained in March 2009 when several moths were taken at light at the moth group trip to Fermyn Woods and then in 2011 by the additional mapping of four new grid squares.

Confusion Species: Common Quaker

L.O.N.: Undated. Northampton. 

First Record: 1900, Kenyon