Orange Underwing

  • Orange Underwing
    Orange Underwing

Scientific name: Archiearis parthenias

March - April. England, Wales and Scotland. Medium-sized, often found near birch on open woodland, amongst scrub on heathland and along embankments.

The Orange Underwing flies around the leafless canopy of mature birch trees on sunny, still days in early spring. The moths rarely descend low enough for close inspection and are best observed through binoculars. They appear orange in flight, although as the name suggests this colour is largely restricted to the hindwings. The forewings are blackish-brown with white markings.
Can be confused with the very similar Light Orange Underwing (Archiearis notha), which is found mainly in south-east England and is generally associated with Aspen rather than Birch.

Size and Family

  • Family – Orange Underwings (Archiearines)
  • Medium Sized 

Conservation status

  • UK BAP:  not listed

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Downy Birch and Silver Birch


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland.
  • Widespread and locally common across much of England, Wales and mainland Scotland. Not recorded from Ireland.


Woodland, heathland and any other habitats with mature birch trees.

Can be confused with the Light Orange Underwing.

Similar species