Friday 17 May
Pale shining brown moth (Polia bombycina)
Pale shining brown moth fact file
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Pale shining brown moth description
Adults are pale reddish-brown in colour with slightly paler hindwings and a shiny appearance, hence the common name (3). The caterpillar has a pale brown back, becoming greener towards the underside (3).
- Wingspan: 4.7- 5.2 cm (1)
Pale shining brown moth biology
The Pale Shining Brown is a single-brooded species, the adults of which are on the wing from mid-June to mid-July. The precise details of the life history of this moth have yet to be elucidated in the wild, however the caterpillars will feed on dock, dandelion and other herbaceous plants in captivity (1). It is likely that the overwintering stage is the caterpillar (1).Top
Pale shining brown moth range
The Pale Shining Brown moth was once widespread in England south of the Severn and the Humber, however it has been recorded from just 20 sites since 1980 (2) and is now recorded with any regularity from just two or three localities (4). A greyish form occurs occasionally as a migrant into south-east England (5). It is known from most other European countries (2).Top
Pale shining brown moth habitatTop
Pale shining brown moth status
Classified as Local in Great Britain (2).Top
Pale shining brown moth threats
The reasons for the decline of the species have not yet been identified (2).Top
Pale shining brown moth conservation
The Species Action Plan for the Pale Shining Brown moth, produced as part of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) aims to maintain the current known populations and enhance these by 2010. Suggested action includes increasing the amount of suitable habitat available at occupied sites and linking fragmented sites. Survey work and research into the causes of the decline and habitat needs of the species have also been proposed (2).Top
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Further reading on moths:
Leverton, R. (2001) Enjoying Moths. Poyser, London.
Skinner, B. (1984) Moths of the British Isles. Penguin Books, Harmondsworth
Information authenticated by Sean Clancy.Top
- Containing free calcium carbonate, chalky.
- (also known as 'univoltine'). Insect life cycle that takes 12 months to be complete, and involves a single generation. The egg, larva, pupa or adult over winters as a dormant stage.
- Skinner, B. (1984) Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles. Viking Press, London.
- UK BAP Species Action Plan (December 2001). http://www.ukbap.org.uk
- South, R. (1961) The moths of the British Isles. Frederick Warne & Co. Ltd., London.
- Clancy, S (2003). Pers. comm.
- Atropos7: 30, Plate 1.
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