British day-flying moths in Cornwall: Pyrausta cingulata

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Moths are often looked upon as the poor relative to butterflies but they are in fact far more numerous with over 2,500 species recorded in the UK compared to about 60 butterfly species.

They are also considered by many to be less colouful and nocturnal. This is certainly not the case with many very attractive moths flying during the day. Click the link to see the day-flying moths gallery.

Hundreds of the dazzling little moth, Pyrausta cingulata (above left), were disturbed as we searched the sheltered dune systems of Penhale, on the North Cornish coast, for Silver-studded Blue butterfly caterpillars. The similar sized, and normally more common, Pyrausta despicata (above right) was also present but in much fewer numbers.

Insight into Pyrausta cingulata: a member of the micro family of moths Pyralidae. This little moth, with a wingspan of between 16 and 20mm, has an extremely localised distribution through much of the UK and seems to prefer chalk and coastal habitats.

There appear to be gaps in the knowledge concerning its habit preferences but here in Cornwall its numbers seem closely related to the presence of Wild Thyme (Thymus polytrichus) and the coast.

Other Moth Sightings

Moth Galleries

Illustrated Guide to British Moths

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