The Moths of Suffolk
16 Gold Swift, Hepialus hecta, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Local

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 1)

Distribution and abundance : Local and infrequent

Habitats : Woodland, grassland, fen and heathland

Flight Period : Single-brooded; May to August, peaking in July

Larval foodplants : Roots of bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) and other plants

Morley's Final Catalogue : Very frequent in all bracken districts. Always abundant in Bentley Woods at dusk (Baylis); Copdock (Hkg); Sudbury (Ransom); 'very common in woods near Stowmarket' (Nat. 1858, 60); Beccles, Bury, West Stow, Newmarket. None at Monks Soham.

Wingspan details : Forewing male 12-15mm, female 13-16mm, Wingspan 26-32mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultCommon Swift, Hepialus lupulinus

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Ipswich, Suffolk (vi.2002) © N Sherman

Flight chart
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Life history chart
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Further Photographs

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Female - Ipswich, Suffolk (vii.2006) © Neil Sherman
Male - New Forest, Hampshire (14.vii.2007) © Lee Gregory
Male - Ipswich, Suffolk (27.vi.2011) © Neil Sherman