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Tawny Pinion
Lithophane semibrunnea (Haworth, 1809)
Noctuidae: Xyleninae
2235 / 73.200
Photo © Dave Williamson,  Kirk Smeaton VC63

Similar Yorkshire Species
Pale Pinion
Lithophane socia
Forewing: 16-20mm.
Flight: October - May (hibernating)
Foodplant:   Ash
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Former Status: Local
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2

Yorkshire Status: Uncommon and local resident.

Tawny Pinion used to be a moth of the southern half of England and Wales. From the 1970s it started to move north, and the first appeared at Spurn on 29/10/1984. Further moths were seen at other sites in 1991, 92 and 95, but it was not until the late 1990s that we appeared to have a resident population, and records increased to a maximum of 21 in 2008. Since then numbers have fluctuated considerably with very few recorded in some years, though 2022 and 23 have seen a slight improvement. It is striking that of the 189 records on the database, 188 are of single moths. The other was of two. This pattern is often seen if moths are not strongly attracted to light, so it is possible that is is more common than we think. Records are scattered across the county and it seems to be able to turn up anywhere. The larvae are only known to feed on ash so it will be interesting to see if ash die-back has any effect on numbers. Like Pale Pinion, this is an over-wintering species. It is more commonly encountered in spring than autumn. The dark pre-tornal streak and dark thoracic crest help to separate pale examples from Pale Pinion.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: This is a mainly southern species but occasional specimens are found as far north as Lincolnshire. The first Yorkshire record was of a single specimen found at Spurn (VC61) on 29.10.1984 (BRS). Since there is no woodland, its natural habitat, it was most probably a stray.

Recorded in 65 (33%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1984.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
08/11/2023161TA17 - Bempton
06/11/2023161TA17 - Bempton
14/09/2023163SE50 - Doncaster
10/05/2023161SE64 - Wheldrake
30/04/2023165NZ10 - Richmond
Further info: Lithophane semibrunnea
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