Erebidae : Arctiinae
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Similar Herts & Middlesex Species
White Ermine
Spilosoma lubricipeda
Muslin Moth
Diaphora mendica
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Water Ermine
Spilosoma urticae

(Esper, 1789) 2062 / 72.021

General comments:
Vagrant. Extinct resident.

Our only recent record is from Chorleywood, with one on 23rd May 2009 - presumably a vagrant. Our earliest record is from Haileybury College area (Bowyer, 1888), and the moth was presumably either on the adjacent Lea Valley marshes or a wanderer from there. It was certainly present at Cheshunt Marsh, where it was said to be scarce (Boyd, 1901) and Broxbourne Marshes, where it "used to be common" (Foster, 1937). It is not hard to imagine that the freshwater marshes of the River Lea Valley, perhaps even those along the River Stort, as suitable habitat for this wetland moth throughout much of their length. There is an old record from East Barnet (Gillum, given in Foster, 1937) which dates between 1860 and 1937. During the 1940s it was "not common", but was reported as taken along the River Beane, below the village green at Walkern, by J. Birdsall.

It is unlikely that the species is overlooked as it is now more or less confined to coastal areas in the south-east of Britain. One at light in Chorleywood during May 2010 was surely a vagrant example.

Recorded in 4 (10%) of 41 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1900.
Last Recorded in 2010.
Additional Stats

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List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
23/05/2010120TQ09 - Watford / Rickmansworth
1940120TL22 - Stevenage
1937120TL30 - Hoddesdon / Cheshunt
1937120TQ29 - Barnet / Finchley
1900120TL30 - Hoddesdon / Cheshunt
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
Express Record Water Ermine
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VC20 VC21 VC21 VC20
Click Map for Details
Forewing: 18-21mm
Flight: One generation June-July
Foodplant:   Water Dock, Water Mint, other marshland plants
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Nationally Scarce
Former Status: Nationally Scarce B
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
 Immature Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
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