Gold Swift - Phymatopus hecta

Alternative names
Hepialus hecta

Wingspan 22 to 33 mm.

Identification difficulty

Occupying a range of grassy and open areas  especially where bracken is present.

When to see it

The adults fly in June and July, from dusk onwards.

Life History

The female deposits the eggs in flight, and the larvae feed on bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), mainly internally until fully grown, when they feed on young shoots.

UK Status

Locally distributed throughout Britain and Ireland. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent but not common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = B (scarce resident or restricted distribution or regular migrant).

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map