Noctuidae : Hadeninae
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Lycophotia porphyrea
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Beautiful Yellow Underwing
Anarta myrtilli

(Linnaeus, 1761) 2142 / 73.257

General comments:
Extinct resident.

Wormley, 1899 (Edelsten) and Hitchin, undated (Tuke) are the only records given by Foster (1937). It is also noted from Bushey Heath in 1939 by E. W. Classey (Foster, 1942). There are no other records. The accuracy of the record by Eric Classey is beyond question and so too, probably is that of Edelsten; nothing in my research has indicated any unreliability on the part of Tuke, though Hitchin is hardly a suitable locality resting, as it does, on the mostly calcareous solifluction deposits laid on top of the Chalky Boulder Clay. The moth is not known for its migratory movements and is generally regarded as fairly sedentary. The decline of heathland in lowland Britain took place very largely during and after the Second World War and it is not hard to imagine that heather may well have grown in heathland habitat in all three areas at the time of the records. Nationally, the moth is well distributed to the south of us from Sussex to Hampshire with scattered localities in Breckland to our north-east; there are also thriving populations north-west of a line drawn between about Bristol and Lincolnshire. Taking all this into account, it seems likely that the Beautiful Yellow Underwing was once resident in Hertfordshire, presumably confined to heathland with heathers and so extremely local in its distribution.

Recorded in 4 (10%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1899.
Last Recorded in 1995.
Additional Stats

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List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
19/07/1995121TQ27 - Hammersmith / Westminster
19/07/1995121TQ27 - Hammersmith / Westminster
1939120TQ19 - Bushey / Borehamwood / Stanmore
1900120TL30 - Hoddesdon / Cheshunt
1899120TL12 - Hitchin (S) / Whitwell
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Beautiful Yellow Underwing
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VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: 10-12mm.
Flight: Two overlapping generations April-Aug.
Foodplant:   Heather and Bell Heather
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
 Immature Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
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