Species Account for Coenonympha pamphilus
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Taxonomic group: butterflies (Lepidoptera: butterflies) - Part county data
Small Heath on UK Butterflies website
The Small Heath is still a widespread butterfly, but has been added to the UKBAP in the review completed in 2007 due to major declines in both its distribution and population. The distribution trend represents a comparison between data for the 1970-1982 period, and data for the 1995-2004 period. The start date for the long-term population trend varies, but is generally a date between 1976 and 1984, depending on the species. (www.ukbutterflies.co.uk). The butterfly occurs on grassland where there are fine grasses, especially in dry, well drained situations where the sward is short and sparse (Asher et al. 2000). Hence in Essex and the modern agricultural landscape many sites are on nutrient-poor and undisturbed brownfield land. The larval food plants are various Bents Agrostis spp., Fescues Festuca spp. and Meadow-grasses Poa spp. References