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The Concolorous Photedes extrema  

B&F: 2347

ABH: 73.149

Status: Resident

Distribution: Local

Primary Habitat: Open, marshy areas, old quarries, woodland rides and clearings

Flight Period: Single brooded in June and July

Localities: Castor Hanglands, Swaddywell Pits, Salcey Forest, Barford Meadows, Fineshade and Bedford Purlieus

Observations: With its Red Data Book designation and greater number of sites in Northamptonshire than any other county this is probably our most significant moth. Originally it is likely that the species colonised damp woodland in the nineteenth century following the draining of the fens. Early records suggest that the influx was from the north-east, Rockingham Forest woodlands first becoming involved followed by those of Nasborough, Salcey and Yardley. After the advent of m.v. light traps in the 1950’s the moth was increasingly found to be locally widespread in these woodlands. It was prized by collectors and sometimes could be found commonly on the stems of its food plant at dusk without the need to resort to light trapping. In the mid 1990’s it became less common and was not seen in some former strongholds despite specific searches. Although the position was unclear, it seemed that roughly a reversal of the original colonization had taken place in that the species contracted its range and abundance from the north-east and that climatic factors may have been involved. The moth was noticeably more plentiful by 2004 and this has continued in subsequent years. Currently it seems to be back to its former levels of abundance in its best sites.

Confusion Species: Mere Wainscot

L.O.N.: 1907 at least two. Unspecified.

First Record: 1886, A. Wallis.