Least Minor

  • Least Minor
    Least Minor

Scientific name: Photedes captiuncula

June to August. Ireland and Northern England. Small brown moth. Found in open limestone grassland and grassy coastal cliff-tops.

The male is smaller than the female with a less distinct central cross band.  The male is similar to smaller forms of the Cloaked Minor but this species has a straight bottom edge to the central cross band which is less strongly bordered with white than in the Least Minor.  The Irish form of this moth is redder and brighter than in England.

The males often fly in sunny weather from mid-day throughout the afternoon. They can also be disturbed from grassy vegetation when at rest. They also fly after dark. The caterpillars can be found from August to late the following May overwintering as small larvae in the sward. They pupate in flimsy cocoons on the ground.

Size and Family

  • Family – Arches, Brindles, Minors, Rustics and allies (Amphipyrinae)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range 14-18mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Rare 

Caterpillar Food Plants

Feeds on the stems of Glaucous Sedge (Carex flacca) and possibly other sedges.

Habitat

Associated with rough fields, dales and hillsides, particularly near the coast.

Distribution

  • Countries – England
  • Restricted to suitable habitat in the south of Cumbria, the western edge of north Yorkshire, the coast of Northumberland and County Durham.  In Ireland it is common in the Burren and County Mayo.

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