Sometimes with dark brown bands on the forewings, sometimes just freckles, or the bands are merged or absent. The male has feathery antennae. Usually rests with its wings held flat. Superficially similar to the Latticed Heath, although that species usually rests with it wings held closed over its back. In the Highlands of Scotland, the Netted Mountain Moth can occur in similar habitats, although that species is generally slightly smaller and darker.

The adults fly by day, particularly in warmer weather and are also readily disturbed from heathy vegetation. The caterpillars can be found from mid-June to mid-September before overwintering as pupae in a flimsy cocoon on or just below ground.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, Beauties and allies (Ennomines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range 24-30mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Heather (Calluna vulgaris), Bell Heather (Erica cinerea), Cross-leaved Heath (Erica tetralix), as well as on clovers, trefoils and vetches.


Found on heathland, moorland, and also meadows and other grasslands, including downland, woodland rides and road verges.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Widely distributed over mainland Britain, the Hebrides, Orkney, Isle of Man and Ireland. Also found on Jersey.
Common Heath (male) - Ryszard Szczygieł

Common Heath (male)

Common Heath (female) - Ann Collier

Common Heath (female)

Common Heath (female) - Ryszard Szczygieł

Common Heath (female)

Common Heath (male) - Ilia Ustyantsev

Common Heath (male)

Common Heath (male/underwing) - Mark Joy

Common Heath (male/underwing)

Common Heath (male) - Garry Barlow

Common Heath (male)

Common Heath - Dave Shenton

Common Heath

Common Heath (male & female) - Urmas Ojango

Common Heath (male & female)

Common Heath (caterpillar) - Patrick Clement

Common Heath (caterpillar)