Magpie

  • Magpie
    Magpie
  • Magpie
    Magpie
  • Magpie
    Magpie
  • Magpie
    Magpie
  • Magpie
    Magpie
  • Magpie
    Magpie

Scientific name: Abraxas grossulariata

June to August. Common to Great Britain. A very distinctive species with black and orange-yellow markings.

The caterpillars have a similar colouration to the adults and can be seen from late August to the following June, overwintering on the food plant.

The adults can sometimes be found at rest on Bramble and other low foliage. They are attracted to light.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, beauties, umbers and allies (Geometridae)
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 36-50mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Currant and gooseberry bushes (Ribes spp.), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Hazel (Corylus avellana), Garden Privet (Ligustrun ovalifolium), Spindle (Euonymus europaeus) and Bramble (Rubus fruiticosus) as well as heathers in northern Scotland.

Habitat

Most abundant on northern heather moorland but also fairly frequent in garden, allotments, hedgerows and woodland.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common throughout lowland mainland Britain, the Isle of Man, Ireland and the Channel Islands.