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Species Account for Coenonympha pamphilus

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Coenonympha pamphilus  (Linnaeus, 1758)
Small Heath
Lepidoptera: butterflies: Satyridae

Small Heath Copyright: Robert Smith

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Taxonomic group: butterflies (Lepidoptera: butterflies) - County data

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Status: NT;Section 41 Priority Species

Essex RDB: Listed
Records: 15793
First Record: 1960
Latest Record: 2023

1992-on hectads: 57
Pre-1992 hectads: 43
Total hectads: 57

Additional Phenology Data


Small Heath
Small Heath

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Small Heath on UK Butterflies website
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Essex Red Data List comment
added to list due to 'Near Threatened' national conservation status (2010 review, Butterfly Conservation)

Species text
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. ( 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

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Broad Habitat Data (based on 129 records with habitat information)

no subhabitat data available

Structural Habitat Data (based on 20 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 15793 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Coenonympha pamphilus

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Coenonympha pamphilus

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Interpretation of distribution maps