Scientific name: Diaphora mendica
May to June. Britain and Ireland. Medium-sized. Female white with black speckling. Male is brown, although in Ireland it is creamy white or creamy brown. Open habitats including gardens, downland and open woodland.
The female of this species is white with slightly translucent wings, whereas the male is grey-brown or sooty-grey, although in Ireland it is creamy white or creamy brown. The female is similar in appearance to the White, Water and Buff Ermine moths although these species are generally larger with opaque wings and more yellow on the abdomen. This group of moths are so named because of their colouration, which resembles the ermine robes of dignitaries.
The female is active by day often found flying in the sunshine or on low vegetation. The male is nocturnal.
Size and Family
- Family – Tigers, Ermines, Footmen and allies (Arctiids)
- Medium Sized
- Wingspan Range - 28-38mm
- UK BAP: Not listed
Caterpillar Food Plants
Docks, dandelion, heathers, chickweed, plantains, Purple-moor grass (Molinia caerulea) and Eared Sallow (Salix aurita).
Frequents many open habitats, including sand-dunes, gardens, downland and hedgerows.
- Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
- Common and widespread throughout England and Wales but more restricted in distribution in mainland Scotland and Ireland. Common and widespread in the Channel Islands.