Small Lappet

    Phyllodesma ilicifolia

    LasiocampidaeABH 66.011 B&F 1641

    Never certainly recorded in the county, and now considered nationally extinct, but there is a historical association between this moth and Somerset, meriting this brief species account.  Larvae thought to be of this species, but not reared, were reported from Lynton (Devon) in the 19th century, and from Hawksnest Wood, near Porlock, in 1938.  A record from Weston-super-Mare in 1965 is thought not to relate to a wild-caught specimen.  Although it is unlikely that the species ever occurred in Somerset, Exmoor does still support extensive, poorly-recorded areas containing an abundance of known foodplants of this species (sallow, bilberry, heathers) to suggest that it may just be possible that Small Lappet still exists in the county.

    Further reading:

    Leverton, R. 2016. Small Lappet Phyllodesma ilicifolia records from Devon and Somerset - a reappraisal. Atropos 57, 54–55.

    Adult Verification Grade: 1