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Mottled Umber Erannis defoliaria

Status:  Resident.

Distribution and Abundance:  Common.

Primary Habitat:  Woodland.

Flight Period:  Single brooded from October extending into January the following year.

Observations: Although always variable in abundance the species seems to be less plentiful recently. In the 1980’s high numbers were often attracted to m.v. lights at Geddington Chase with a full range of colour forms.  In the 1990’s numbers have been well down in this locality to the extent that in 1999 no moths at all were recorded, despite light trapping sessions in the flight period. Since then numbers have recovered somewhat but are still low; returns from other sites support this view. The Fineshade Rothamsted light trap shows an average of four moths annually for the seven years to 1999 and the two Pitsford Reservoir static light traps average twenty-one moths for the years 1999 to 2003. The caterpillars of this species are one of the most important food sources for young birds in the spring.  Moths were noted in March in 1932, 1938, 1945 and 1953.

L.O.N.:  1907. Many localities. Common.

First Record:  1882, Hull & Tomalin.