Scottish Small Dark Yellow Underwing Survey

Small Dark Yellow Underwing - Stuart Read

Small Dark Yellow Underwing can appear very similar to its close relative the much more common Beautiful Yellow Underwing. 

However, when at rest on rocks and posts, or when nectaring on moorland flowers, it is readily identifiable by the white markings on a dark background as well as the yellowy-orange underwings (if visible).

The moth is associated with 'Arctostaphylos heath', and Bearberry Arctostaphylos uva-ursi is the sole larval foodplant.  Adults can be usually seen in May but it has been recorded from mid-April until the first week of June, at altitudes of 200-650m. The Small Dark Yellow Underwing occurs in the Cairngorms and also eastwards to parts of Aberdeenshire and Angus and south into Highland Perthshire. The only record north of the Great Glen is from Glen Affric. 

Recent surveys for Small Dark Yellow Underwing and another rare Bearberry-feeder, the Netted Mountain Moth, that flies at the same time of year, have been successful in recording the latter species, but there have been very few records of Small Dark yellow Underwing. This has raised great concerns and we are therefore very keen to continue targeted recording of this moth in 2014.

For more information please contact Tom Prescott Email: tprescott@butterfly-conservation.org  Tel: 01540 661469