One of several moths with yellow hindwings. The red-brown or brown colour of the forewing, together with the marbled grey-white markings and a small white blotch near the centre of the forewing help to distinguish this species.

The Small Dark Yellow Underwing, which is a Scottish species, is dark grey with a conspicuous white kidney-shaped mark on the forewing. True Lover’s Knot is superficially similar, but does has a grey-brown hindwing and is usually slightly larger.

Flies in sunshine rapidly and low over heathers, feeding at moorland flowers. In dull weather the moth can be found at rest on heathers. Also flies occasionally after dark.
The larvae can be seen from April to October in the south or July to September in the north.

Size and Family

  • Family – Brocades, Quakers and allies (Hadenines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 20-24mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Heather (Calluna vulgaris) and Bell Heather (Erica cinerea).


Frequents heathland and moorland.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Found in suitable habitat throughout most of Britain and Ireland, except Shetland.
Beautiful Yellow Underwing by Dave Green

Beautiful Yellow Underwing

Beautiful Yellow Underwing by Mark Parsons

Beautiful Yellow Underwing