This unmistakeable moth has a spectacular brassy, metallic sheen on the forewings. There are two forms differing in the brown central cross-band which is complete in f. aurea but separated into two blotches in f. juncta. The adults feed at dusk at the flowers of Honeysuckle, buddleias and Red Valerian.

The larvae can be found from July to the following May feeding at night and hiding low down on the foodplant stem during the day. They overwinter as small larvae, near the ground amongst vegetation. 

Size and Family

  • Family – Silver and gold Ys, gems, brasses and allies (Noctuidae)
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 32-38mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Most frequently feed on Nettle (Urtica dioica) but also other herbaceous plants including White Dead-nettle (Lamium album), Wild Marjoram (Origanum vulgare) and Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare).


Gardens hedgerows, ditch-banks, marshes, fens and wood edges.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common and well distributed throughout Britain, Ireland and the Channel Islands.
Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass

Burnished Brass