An unmistakeable and distinctive moth with broad, strongly hooked forewings with a scalloped edge and white cross-lines. The wings are dark greyish-brown with colourful orange blotches near the base and centre of the forewings.

The adults overwinter in caves, barns or outbuildings. They are most often found feeding after dark on flowers and overripe berries. The caterpillars can be found from May to July and again in August in the south.

Size and Family

  • Family – Noctuidae
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 38-46mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Willows, Aspen (Populus tremula) and other poplars.


Open broadleaved woodland, hedgerows, scrub, fens, heathland, parks and gardens where the foodplants can be found.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common and well distributed throughout England, Wales, Ireland and the Isle of Man. Local in Scotland.
Herald - Tapio Kujala


Herald - Ryszard Szczygieł


Herald - Natural England/Allan Drewitt


Herald - Ilia Ustyantsev


Herald (overwintering) - Iain Leach

Herald (overwintering)

Herald (overwintering) - Iain Leach

Herald (overwintering)

Heralds (overwintering) - Mark Joy

Heralds (overwintering)

Herald (caterpillar) - zebart (flickr)

Herald (caterpillar)