This moth cannot be mistaken for any other species, due to the combination of its size, colour and wing shape. Flies gently in sunshine and can readily be disturbed from vegetation in dull weather. Also flies from dusk.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, Beauties and allies (Ennomines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 28-34mm

Conservation status

    • UK BAP: Not listed
    • Scarce (Nationally Notable B)

    Caterpillar Food Plants

    Usually feeds on Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), although this is not found at all localities where the moth occurs, so there must also be an alternative foodplant.


    Inhabits open woodland and sometimes amongst long-established scrub.


    • Countries – England, Wales, Ireland
    • The moth has a restricted distribution, although it can be found in suitable locations in Dorset, the Isle of Wight, south Wiltshire, Berkshire, Surrey and West Sussex, as well as in Somerset, Gloucestershire, Monmouthsire and Herefordshire. It is scarce elsewhere in southern England and has been recorded north to Derbyshire and Yorkshire in the past. In Ireland it has been found in Cos. Cork, Waterford, Limerick and Tipperary.
    Little Thorn - Ryszard Szczygieł

    Little Thorn

    Little Thorn - Patrick Clement

    Little Thorn

    Little Thorn by Les Hill

    Little Thorn

    Little Thorn - Ilia Ustyantsev

    Little Thorn