The forewings are primarily a pale grey colour with a central wavy-edged darker band. The females are duller and slightly browner in colour.

The adults are incapable of feeding. They fly at night and are attracted to light. The caterpillars can be found from April to June feeding at night and resting on twigs or bark during the day before they pupate under bark or among plant debris. They overwinter as eggs on the foodplant although in the northern part of their range they might spend a second winter as nearly full-grown larvae.

Size and Family

  • Family – Eggar moths (Lasiocampidae)
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 28-34mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Priority Species (Research only)
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Mainly birches, Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and hawthorns but also sallows, Hazel (Corylus avellana), Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris), oaks, Bilberry (Vaccinium uliginosum) and heathers.


Open woodland, hedgerows, heathland, moorland, scrub and gardens


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common. Well distributed and frequent in most of England north to Yorkshire and also in mainland Scotland. Scattered records in lowland Wales and very local in Ireland.
Pale Eggar - Patrick Clement

Pale Eggar

Pale Eggar - Iain Leach

Pale Eggar

Pale Eggar (male) - Ilia Ustyantsev

Pale Eggar (male)

Pale Eggar - Koen Thonissen

Pale Eggar

Pale Eggar (caterpillars)

Pale Eggar (caterpillars)

Pale Eggar (caterpillar) - Marcell Kárpáti

Pale Eggar (caterpillar)