Superficially similar to the Scarce Forester (A. globulariae) and Cistus Forester (A. geryon), care being needed to separate these species. Often found feeding at flowers, such as those of Devil's-bit Scabious, Field Scabious and Marsh Thistle.

Overwinters as a larva. At first mines the leaves, then feeding exposed on the lower leaves. Pupates in a cocoon spun near the ground and concealed amongst vegetation.

Size and Family

  • Family – Burnets and Foresters (Zygaenids)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range 24-29mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Priority species
  • Local (only found in some areas)

    Caterpillar Food Plants

    Common Sorrel (Rumex acetosa), Sheep's Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)


    Damp neutral grassland, limestone grassland, chalk downland, breck grassland, sandy heathland, sand dunes, woodland rides and clearings.


    • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
    • Well distributed in England, Wales, also in western Scotland and parts of Northern Ireland.
    • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: Declining


    Forester by Mark Parsons