Female buttoned snout moths are more variable in their appearance than males (3); the males tend to have darker, more uniform forewings whereas the females have a more obvious lighter panel towards the outer edge (3). The caterpillar is green with small dark spots, and white lines along the sides (4).
This species was once found throughout south Wales and southern Britain. Following a substantial decline, it is now largely restricted to river valleys of south-east England and a number of isolated locations around the coast. It can still be found in south Wales where it may be more widespread than current records indicate (3). It is known from most European countries (2).
Inhabits hedgerows and overgrown areas (1) in parks, gardens and disturbed habitats such as urban wasteland (5). The adults overwinter in garden sheds, outhouses, other man-made shelters and caves (1)(5).
The main reason for the decline of this species seems to be the redevelopment of urban wasteland (2). The development of these 'brownfield' sites continues to put great pressure on this species (5). A further threat is the reduction in the number of hop fields (6).
The buttoned snout has been targeted as a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). The Species Action Plan produced as part of this process aims to maintain all known current populations, with enhancement of these populations and restoration of the species to five sites within the former range before 2010, possibly using reintroductions. Possible action includes appropriate habitat management, increasing the area of suitable habitat, linking fragments of habitat, and considering the species in development proposals (2).
The UK Biodiversity Action Plan for this species is available at UK BAP.
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