The adults can be identified by pale grey forewings with two dark brown cross-bands. In the darker form f. nubilata the forewings are mostly brown but the cross lines are still visible. They fly from early dusk and are attracted to light.

The caterpillars can be found from April to early July feeding at night and resting between two leaves spun flat together during the day. They overwinter as eggs attached to the foodplant.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thyatridae
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 30-34mm

Conservation status

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

Caterpillar Food Plants

Pedunculate Oak (Quercus robur) and Sessile Oak (Quercus patraea)


Well-established broadleaved woodland with mature oaks


  • Countries – England, Wales and Scotland
  • Well distributed throughout southern England from Dorset to Kent and north to Oxford, Peterborough, the Midlands, Wye Valley, west Wales and Cumbria. Scattered records across the rest of England and Wales and southern Scotland.
Oak Lutestring

Oak Lutestring

Oak Lutestring

Oak Lutestring

Oak Lutestring - Garry Barlow

Oak Lutestring

Oak Lutestring - Stuart Read

Oak Lutestring

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