One of the most familiar of the Pyralidae moth, the Small Magpie is common, easily disturbed by day and often attracted to light.

The caterpillar feeds from a rolled or spun leaf in August and September before spending the winter in a tough silk cocoon in a hollow stem or under the bark. Without further feeding, pupation occurs in the following May in the same cocoon.

Flight Season

Flies from May to September in a single generation but can be recorded as early as February and sometimes as late as November.

Size and Family

  • Family – Crambidae
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 24-28mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Caterpillars feed on common nettle but woundworts (Stachys spp.), mints (Mentha spp.), horehounds (Marrubium and Ballota), and bindweeds (Convolvulus and Calystegia) are also used.

Habitat

Can be found in a variety of habitats, including gardens, waste ground, and hedgerows.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common throughout the British Isles but more local in central and southern Scotland.
Small Magpie - Bob Eade

Small Magpie

Small Magpie - Iain Leach

Small Magpie

Small Magpie - Heath McDonald

Small Magpie

Small Magpie - Heath McDonald

Small Magpie

Small Magpie - Stuart Read

Small Magpie

Small Magpie (caterpillar) - Gilles San Martin

Small Magpie (caterpillar)

Small Magpie (caterpillar in cocoon) - Gilles San Martin

Small Magpie (caterpillar in cocoon)

Small Magpie (pupa) - Gilles San Martin

Small Magpie (pupa)


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