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Portland Moth
Actebia praecox (Linnaeus, 1758)
Noctuidae: Noctuinae
2099 / 73.308
Photo © Paul Kitchener,  Dunwich, 3 September 2013

Similar Suffolk Species: None
Forewing: 17-21mm.
Flight: One generation Aug-Sept.
Foodplant:   Creeping Willow.
Nat Status: Nationally Scarce B
Verification Grade:  Adult: 3

Morley's Final Catalogue: A submaritime species, now become very rare on our coast and yet still maintaining a broad distribution in the old Fen Sea district of the Breck. Taken at Dunwich in 1903 (Bloomfield in EMM); three at Kessingland in 1902 (l.c. 1904, 81); Lowestoft; Gorleston Cliff on sugar in August 1923, at light & on palings, uncommonly (D). Thetford; one at Tuddenham in 1900 (Sparke); six specimens on ragwort at Barnham on 31 August and 1 September 1894 (Norgate); Barton Magna, Bury. Also recorded from Finburgh, Combs and Bury (Naturalist 1858, p.230).

Recent Status: A species whose range and distribution has much contracted in recent years. Just three modern records from the coastal sites of Dunwich Heath on 18.08.2006 (C. Moore), Dunwich on 03.09.2013 (P. Kitchener) and Hollesley on 25.07.2014 (R. Watson).

Identification: Highly distinctive and unmistakable.

Habitat: Coastal habitats.

Verification Grade Comment: Very rare.

Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.

Recorded in 7 (12%) of 58 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1894.
Last Recorded in 2014.

Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
25/07/2014+25TM34 - Hollesley/Rendlesham Forest
03/09/2013125TM47 - Blythburgh/Dunwich
18/08/2006125TM46 - Minsmere/Leiston
August 1923+25TG50 - Gorleston
1903+25TM47 - Blythburgh/Dunwich
Further info: Actebia praecox
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