The clear differences between the male and female of this moth led them to be originally described as separate species. The female is smaller than the male with orange-red veins on the forewing and usually a greater degree of black on the hindwing.

The male flies in sunshine and is easily disturbed by day.  The female is sometimes found at rest on vegetation by day but seems to fly very infrequently.  Both sexes are active at night. The caterpillars can be found from July to the following April or May.

Size and Family

  • Family – Tigers, Ermines, Footmen and allies (Arctiids)
  • Medium Sized 
  • Wingspan Range 34-44mm

Conservation Status

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

    Caterpillar Food Plants

    Heathers and other herbs including Sheep’s Sorrel (Rumex acetosella), Devil’s-bit Scabious (Succisa pratensis), Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) and plantains.


    Favours heathland and moorland but occasionally found on chalk and limestone grassland, and in open woodland areas.


    • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
    • Widely distributed but restricted to small areas in mainland Britain, most frequent in southern England, East Anglia, the Midlands, north-west England and western Scotland.  Most common on the west coast in Ireland, with local and occasional records on Jersey but rare on Guernsey.
    Clouded Buff (male) by Dave Green

    Clouded Buff (male)