• Blackneck

Scientific name: Lygephila pastinum

June to September. Northern England and Wales. A large moth, with grey forewings and black collar at base of head.

Found in open grassland habitats, including chalk and limestone grasslands, damp woodland rides and wood edges. This moth is similar in apperance to the Scarce Blackneck which has darker forewings often with pale veins and several black spots along the leading edge.  The dark kidney mark on the forewings of the Blackneck has one or two spots beside it but on the Scarce Blackneck it is broken along the outer edge.

Easily disturbed by day but rarely flies far before settling. Also flies from dusk.
The larvae can be seen from August to the following May, feeding at night and resting on the foodplant during the day. They pupate in a cocoon on or just beneath the ground.

Size and Family

  • Family – Ophiderines
  • Large Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 36-42mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Local (only found in some areas)

Caterpillar Food Plants

Prefers to feed on Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) but also found on Marsh Pea (Lathyrus palustris) and Wild Liquorice (Astragalus glycyphyllos).


Frequents a wide variety of grassy habitats, including wetter areas such as water meadows, fens and marshland.


  • Countries – England, Wales
  • Widespread and common in certain areas throughout southern England, south Wales, the south Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia.

Similar species