This is an unusual looking moth as both forewings and hindwings are similar in size.  Not easily confused with other species, and the dark central band with a black spot in the middle is distinctive.The male flies in sunshine, but both sexes are often found crawling over rocks and lichens when it is too cold or windy to fly.

The lifecycle of this species is not entirely known. It is though to have a 2 year lifecycle with the first winter spent as a larva and and the second as either a larva or pupa.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, Beauties and allies (Ennomines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 20-26mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Scarce (Nationally Scarce A)

Caterpillar Food Plants

Crowberry (Empetrum nigrum)


Found on high-altitude mountains and moorlands from 600m and above


  • Countries –  Scotland
  • Nationally Scarce A. Widespread in the central Scottish Highlands, occurring in the Cairngorms and the Monadhliaths.  Also recorded in Ross-shire, Sutherland and Perthshire
Black Mountain Moth by Jane-Bowman

Black Mountain Moth

Black Mountain Moth - IKAl (Wikipedia)

Black Mountain Moth