Poplar Lutestring

  • Poplar Lutestring
    Poplar Lutestring

Scientific name: Tethea or or

Late May to early august in England and Wales, June to early July in Scotland and Ireland. Three subspecies of this moth are locally distributed across much of Britain.

The English subspecies or is similar in appearance to the Figure of Eighty but the cross-lines are more wavy, often thicker and more numerous. The Scottish subspecies scotica is sometimes a paler grey colour or occasionally brown. The Irish subspecies hibernica varies between the two others in colour with paler markings.

The adults fly at night and are attracted to light.

The caterpillars can be found from mid-July to September feeding at night and resting between two leaves spun flat together during the day. They overwinter as pupae in a delicate cocoon between leaves of the foodplant which fall to the ground with the leaves in autumn.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thyatridae
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 32-38mm

Conservation status

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

Caterpillar Food Plants

Aspen (Populus tremula) and other poplars


Broadleaved woodland and other habitats with well-established Aspen.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Spp. or is found across most of southern England and in Wales, but rare in south-west England and local in northern England. Spp. scotica is locally distributed in Scotland including the Hebrides, mainly near the coast in the west. Spp. hibernica has been recorded from scattered locations in Ireland.

Similar species