Swallow-tailed Moth

  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth
  • Swallow-tailed Moth
    Swallow-tailed Moth

Scientific name: Ourapteryx sambucaria

Late June to mid-August. Common and widespread. An unmistakable species with a pointed tail on the hindwings each with two dark brown spots.

The wings are a pale yellow colour which fades whiter with age, with two darker lines crossing the forewings and one line crossing the hindwings.

The adults are occasionally disturbed during the day but they are strictly nocturnal flying rapidly at night. They are attracted to light. They overwinter as caterpillars in a bark crevice.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, beauties, umbers and allies (Geometridae)
  • Large Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 44-60mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Woody broadleaves including Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) and Goat Willow (Salix caprea) as well as Elder (Sambucus nigra), Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) and Ivy (Hedera helix).

Habitat

Woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Well distributed and fairly frequent across most of England, Wales, Ireland and the lowlands of Scotland. Also widespread in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.