This furry moth is common throughout most of England but has a more local distribution further north.

The caterpillars feed at night, hiding between spun leaves by day and can be found from late May to early July and again in September to early October in the south. In the north, they are usually only encountered from late June to September.

Winter is spent as a pupa, in a cocoon that is typically formed among leaf litter, under moss or at the base of a tree.

Adults emerge the following spring and the males, which can be identified by their feathered antennae, usually fly at dusk, often coming to light whereas the more sedentary female does so only rarely.

Flight Season

In southern England there are two generations, flying from April to May and again in July and August. In the north there is usually only one generation that flies from May to June.

Size and Family

  • Family – Noctuidae
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 27-35mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Caterpillars feed on a variety of deciduous trees, including Beech (Fagus), Hazel (Corylus), Birches (Betula), Oaks (Quercus), Field Maple (Acer campestre), and Hornbeam (Carpinus).

Habitat

Can be found in broadleaved woodland.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common and well distributed in England, Scotland and Ireland but local in North Wales.
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