Southern Chestnut Agrochola haematidea
Southern Chestnut Agrochola haematidea
Adult • New Forest, Hampshire, October 2003 • © David Green

73.191 BF2264a

Southern Chestnut Agrochola haematidea

(Duponchel, 1827)

Wingspan 32-38 mm.

Not discovered in Britain until 1990, the Southern Chestnut was only known from one site in West Sussex until 1996 when it was also found to occur on heaths in the north-west of the New Forest, Hampshire. The species was subsequently discovered in other parts of the New Forest and on some of the east Dorset heaths. It appears to be a long overlooked resident rather than a recent addition to the British fauna.

The moth flies from early October to mid-November, inhabiting dry acid heathland. It comes to light soon after dark, with the main flight period only lasting 30 to 45 minutes. The larvae feed from April to early July on the flowers of bell heather Erica cinerea and cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix.
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