The colour of the wings varies with habitat. Moths in upland areas tend to be whiter and those from heaths and bogs are grey or even brownish. The male is larger and generally paler than the female, but the two dark lines across the forewings separated by a dark dot are diagnostic of this species.
The adult males can easily be found basking on stones and bare ground including burned areas during the day. The caterpillars can be found from July to the following May.
Size and Family
- Family – Thorns, Beauties and allies (Ennomines)
- Medium Sized
- Wingspan range - 30-42mm
- UK BAP: Not listed
- Local (only found in some areas)
Caterpillar Food Plants
Heather (Calluna vulgaris), Bell Heather (Erica cinerea) and Cross-leaved Heath (Erica tetralix).
Occurs on heathland, moorland, bogs and raised mosses, possibly preferring areas with shorter vegetation.
- Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
- Well distributed on Dorset, New Forest and Hampshire heathlands, but infrequent elsewhere in these areas and the rest of the south. Also found in northern Wales, West Midlands, north England, Scotland and Ireland, although having a scattered distribution and not found everywhere.