Sometimes referred to as the Blue Underwing, the Clifden Nonpareil is a very large and impressively beautiful and rare moth.

This unmistakable insect is strongly attracted to sugar at dusk and will come to light but can also be seen by day at rest on tree trunks and walls. It has even been recorded flying inland from the sea.

Winter is spent as an egg on the foodplant with the caterpillars hatching the following spring when they can be found through to July, feeding at night. The pupa is made in a silken cocoon that is spun between leaves or among leaf litter.

Flight Season

Flies from late August through to early October in one generation.

Size and Family

  • Family – Erebidae
  • Large Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 75-95mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Recent colonist, immigrant and former resident

Caterpillar Food Plants

Caterpillars feed mainly on Aspen (Populus), but has been recorded on other poplars in mainland Europe.

Habitat

Can be found in broadleaved woodland but wandering adults can be seen in almost any habitat.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales and Scotland
  • Former resident in Kent and the Norfolk broads in the 1930's and recolonised southern England from 2007. Now resident locally and spreading north in Hampshire, Isle of Wight, South Wiltshire, Dorset, Sussex and Kent. Scarce Immigrant.
Clifden Nonpareil - Peter Maton

Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil - Ryszard Szczygieł

Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil - Ryszard Szczygieł

Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil - Ryszard Szczygieł

Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil - Bob Eade

Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil - Tamás Nestor

Clifden Nonpareil

Clifden Nonpareil (Up Close) - Adam Gor

Clifden Nonpareil (Up Close)

Clifden Nonpareil (Underwing) - Ilia Ustyantsev

Clifden Nonpareil (Underwing)


Similar species