Often found near sea campion, thrift and rock-rose. Found on rocky coastlines, beaches, heathland, moorland and downland. The variable colour of this moth appears to match the ground colour of its habitat,  ranging from almost white on chalk and limestone to brown/black on heaths and bogs.  Markings are less variable, with hollow circles and two jagged lines crossing both sets of wings, but these are less easy to see on the darker forms.

The adults rest by day on bare ground, in rocky crevices and behind overhanging vegetation, flying from dusk and after dark. The larvae can be seen from September to the following late May, overwintering near the base of the foodplant. They pupate on the ground among plant debris.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, Beauties and allies (Ennomines)
  • Medium Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 30-36mm

Conservation Status

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

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Sea Campion (Silene uniflora), Thrift (Armeria maritima), Common Rock-rose (Helianthemum nummularium) and a variety of other plants including Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) and Heather (Calluna vulgaris).


Found in a range of coastal habitats, from rocky coast to limestone cliffs, grassy banks and sandy places by the sea. Inland it is found on heathland, moorland, calcareous grassland and quarries.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Well distributed around the coast of the Britain and inland on the heaths and downs of southern England and Wales. In Ireland it occurs on the coast. Also recorded on the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands
Annulet by Mark Parsons


Annulet by Mark Parsons


Similar species