The forewing markings of the male vary in their extent and intensity from dark brown to grey or pale whitish. The markings can include obvious white patches on the forewings although entirely plain examples occur. The females are usually less strongly marked.
The white larvae live underground feeding on the roots of grasses and other herbaceous plants from June to the following April.
Size and Family
- Family – Swift moths (Hepialidae)
- Small Sized
- Wingspan Range – 22-40mm
- UK BAP: Not listed
Caterpillar Food Plants
Feeds on the roots of grasses and many other wild and cultivated herbaceous plants. Sometimes a pest of agriculture or horticulture.
Open grassland, gardens and roadside verges, moorland, heathland, fens and grassy woodland rides.
- Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
- Common and distributed throughout most of mainland Britain, the Isle of Man and Channel Islands. More abundant in the south than the north. Local in Scotland and Ireland.
Common Swift - Donald Hobern
Common Swift (male) - Paul Kitchener
Common Swift (male)
Common Swift (female) - Ben Sale
Common Swift (female)
Common Swift - Paul Kitchener
Common Swift - nutmeg66