An unmistakable species that is both common and widespread in Europe but unfortunately only a sporadic migrant to the British Isles with less than 200 records in the last century.

The moth occurs naturally in the Mediterranean and North Africa, and most immigrants are presumed to have originated there, typically arriving with plumes of warm air during the summer or autumn. Attracted to light but also flies during the day when it is easily disturbed.

Size and Family

  • Family – Tiger moths, ermines, footman moths and allies (Arctiidae)
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 15-22mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Very rare immigrant

Caterpillar Food Plants

Caterpillars have not been found in the wild in the British Isles but elsewhere in Europe they feed on herbaceous plants such as forget-me-not (Myosotis), Borage (Borago officinalis) and ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata). Overwinters in this stage.

Habitat

In Europe these moths inhabit dry open places, meadows, shrublands, grasslands and even parks and gardens but in the UK most sightings are confined to the coastline of southern counties.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Native to North Africa and central Asia but only a sporadic migrant to UK shores where most sightings are confined to southern counties and coastline.
Crimson Speckled - Bob Eade

Crimson Speckled

Crimson Speckled - Leigh Prevost

Crimson Speckled

Crimson Speckled - Vlad Proklov

Crimson Speckled

Crimson Speckled - Vlad Proklov

Crimson Speckled