The many miles of coastline around the British Isles offers a diversity of habitats for butterflies and moths; most of these are grassland but areas of scrub and woodland add to the diversity.
Cliffs, sand dunes and under-cliffs experience regular landslips which create areas of bare ground and thin soils, ideal for many food plants. Saltmarsh and shingle habitats are particularly important for a number of rare moths.
- Characteristic of large river estuaries and bays
- Larval food plants such as Sea Wormwood, Sea Plantain and Common Sea-lavender
Characterisitc moths: Rosy Wave, Scarce Pug, Ground Lackey, Norther Drab, Crescent Striped and Star-wort
- Coastal, often with sparse vegetation
- Presence of larval food plants such as Nottingham Catchfly, Wild Carrot, sorrel and Common Toadflax
Characteristic Butterflies: Small Copper
Characteristic moths: Grass Eggar, Yellow Shell, Pigmy Footman, Toadflax Brocade and White Spot
Coastal Cliffs and Dunes
- Thin, sandy and/or eroding soils
- Presence of natural grassland on cliffs, under-cliffs and machair
- Larval food plants such as Kidney Vetch, Common Dog-violet, Sea Campion, plantain and grasses
Characteristic Butterflies: Small Blue, Common Blue, Grayling, Dark Green Fritillary and Glanville Fritillary
Characteristic Moths: White Spot, Sand Dart, Slender Scotch Burnet, Chalk Carpet, Shore Wainscot, Belted Beauty and Barrett's Marbled Coronet