Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Leucochlaena oditis - Beautiful Gothic

Range & Status

In Britain, since 1980 recorded only from Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and the Isles of Wight (Waring, 1992). In Europe found on the Atlantic coast (including the Channel Islands), but also inland and into North Africa and the Middle East (Heath & Emmet, 1983).

Regional Distribution

Recorded in Cornwall at Falmouth (1903), Polperro and Bodinnick (pre-1980), at Mawnan Smith in 1986, at Portwrinkle in 1986 and on The Lizard (e.g. in 1995), at Rame Head in 2005, 2007 and 2008 and at Downderry in 2007. The Portwrinkle and Mawnan Smith records were treated as possible migrants (Bretherton & Chalmers-Hunt, 1987), but are more likely to be resident stock. The records for Cornwall are few and far between, but the moth is likely to occur on many cliffs between the known sites. Possibly overlooked because the adult generally flies in late September and early October.

Habitat & Ecology

The larvae feed on grasses (Poaceae), especially Sheep' s Fescue Festuca ovina growing round large boulders giving shelter (Platts, 1980).


None known.


Much of the known territory on the southern cliffs is SSSI and /or owned by the National Trust or English Nature.


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.