Hepialidae
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Photo © Ben Sale,  Stevenage, Hertfordshire (21/05/19) - Male

Similar Herts & Middlesex Species
Orange Swift
Triodia sylvina
Gold Swift
Phymatopus hecta
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Common Swift
Korscheltellus lupulina

(Linnaeus, 1758) 17 / 3.002
=Hepialus lupulinus

General Remarks:

Widespread, perhaps ubiquitous, across the entire area of both counties including the urban zones of Central London. The species will be found wherever there is grassland and larvae have even been recorded in lawns in the North London area (although it is possible that this may have related to imported turf). The success of this species in comparison with the other four Swift species is doubtless due in no small part to its annual life cycle - all of the other four having a requirement to over-winter twice in the larval stage and thus being unable to colonise regularly disturbed areas.


Hertfordshire Notes:
In The Moths of Hertfordshire (2008) we noted that the possibility exists that the seven records then known from August, all unsupported by specimens, might relate to misidentified Orange Swifts. This now seems rather unlikely; the updated phenology chart now shows that there is a healthy second generation of adults in August. This situation has developed since approximately year 2000, prior to which we recorded adults from mid-May to early July only.

Middlesex Notes:
Under-recorded in many areas and likely to be found if looked for. Adults come readily to small, battery-powered lamps as well as bigger moth traps.

Recorded in 37 (90%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1888.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Orange Swift  |  Map-winged Swift >

List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
21/08/2023120TL00 - Hemel Hempstead
27/06/2023120TL31 - Hertford
24/06/2023120TL42 - Bishop's Stortford (N)
21/06/2023320TL31 - Hertford
21/06/2023120TL11 - Harpenden / Wheathampstead
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Common Swift
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VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: M 11-16mm. F 15-20mm.
Flight: One generation. May-July.
Foodplant:   Grasses, Herbaceous plants
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 1
 Immature Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
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