Scientific name: Spilosoma luteum
Mid-May to July. A common and widespread species but declining and added to the BAP Priority list for research purposes.
The forewings are a yellowish-buff to whitish-buff colour. The number and size of the black dots on the wings vary but a distinctive diagonal row of elongated spots running from the forewing tip to trailing edge can distinguish it from the White Ermine. A mostly black form has been bred in captivity but is much rarer in the wild.
The hairy larvae can be seen from July to October which then overwinter as pupae among plant debris.
Size and Family
- Family – Tiger moths, ermines, footman moths and allies (Arctiidae)
- Medium Sized
- Wingspan Range – 34-44mm
- UK BAP: Priority species (Research only)
Caterpillar Food Plants
A wide range of herbaceous plants, especially Common Nettle (Urtica dioica) and woody species including Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum), Hop (Humulus lupulus) and birches.
Found in most habitats including gardens, hedgerows, parks and woodland.
- Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
- Common and well distributed throughout England, Wales, the Isle of Man, Scotland and the Channel Islands. Local in mainland Scotland but more frequent near the west coast.