Common Heath

  • Common Heath (female)
    Common Heath (female)
  • Common Heath (male)
    Common Heath (male)
  • Common Heath (female)
    Common Heath (female)
  • Common Heath (male)
    Common Heath (male)

Scientific name: Ematurga atomaria

May - August. Britain and Ireland. Small, colour ranges from white to brown or grey. Male has feathery antennae. Often found near heather, heath, trefoils, clovers and vetches.

The ground colour varies from white through light brown to dark grey. Sometimes with dark brown bands on the forewings, sometimes just freckles, or the bands are merged or absent. The male has feathery antennae. Usually rests with its wings held flat. Superficially similar to the Latticed Heath, although that species usually rests with it wings held closed over its back. In the Highlands of Scotland, the Netted Mountain Moth can occur in similar habitats, although that species is generally slightly smaller and darker.

Flies by day, particularly in warmer weather. Also readily disturbed from heathy vegetation. Sometimes abundant where it is found, particularly on heathland and moorland.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, Beauties and allies (Ennomines)
  • Small Sized 

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Heather, Bell Heather, Cross-leaved Heath, as well as on clovers, trefoils and vetches.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Widely distributed over mainland Britain, the Hebrides, Orkney, Isle of Man and Ireland. Also found on Jersey.


Found heathland, moorland, and also meadows and other grasslands, including downland, woodland rides and road verges.

Similar species