Hepialidae
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Photo © Ben Sale,  Bramfield Woods, Hertfordshire (13/06/20) (Male)

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

(Linnaeus, 1758) 16 / 3.004
=Hepialus hecta

This member of the Swift family is evidently more restricted in its distribution than either of the preceding two species or the next, perhaps because of its more specific caterpillar foodplant requirements ... it is normally associated with Bracken Pteridium aquilinum which is seemingly absent from several localities. Survival upon long-established potted/garden ferns seems possible and might explain individual examples noted in Hornsey and elsewhere. Adults fly in June and July. Looking only at post-2000 records, the map seems to indicate a decline in some areas.

Hertfordshire Notes: Old records listed by Foster (1937) cover fifteen areas, though it is not practical to allocate all of them to a map tetrad. The present day distribution pattern shows a clear absence of the moth from the north-east sector and suggests that it may have disappeared from some more southerly sites. Amost all of the symbols on the distribution map relate to map tetrads that are either entirely on clay or contain an area of clay soil, including the Chalky Boulder Clay around Bishops Stortford and to the south of Hertford and the London Clay in the south. The Map-winged Swift may prefer relatively large areas of longer-established Bracken, whilst the Gold Swift appears more able to thrive in smaller areas.

Middlesex Notes: As a resident, probably absent from areas away from the "North London Woodlands", which form a belt along the boundary of the two vice-counties.

Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.

Recorded in 28 (68%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1887.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Map-winged Swift  |  Ghost Moth >

List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
01/09/2023120TL23 - Letchworth / Baldock
17/06/20233020TL42 - Bishop's Stortford (N)
12/06/2023420TL43 - Meesden / Barley
10/06/2023+20TL42 - Bishop's Stortford (N)
03/06/2023120TL42 - Bishop's Stortford (N)
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Gold Swift
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VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: M 12-15mm. F 13-16mm.
Flight: One generation. June-July.
Foodplant:   Bracken
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Former Status: Local
Verification Grade:  Adult: 3
 Immature Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
© hertsmiddxmoths.uk 2024 NOLA®; Database using MapMate® Digital Maps © Bartholomew 2010. Design © Jim Wheeler 2024
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