The English and scientific names of this moth are derived from the distinctive yellowish colour of the antennae. The forewings of the English subspecies are grey or greenish-white with a large pale spot near the centre of the leading edge. The Scottish subspecies is a darker grey.

The caterpillars can be found from mid-May to mid-July feeding at night and resting between two leaves spun flat together during the day. They overwinter as pupae on the ground amongst leaf litter.

Flight Season

Flies primarily at night during March and April but might also fly during the day on sunny afternoons. Attracted to light.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thyatridae
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 34-40mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Silver Birch (Betula pendula) and Downy Birch (Betula pubescens)

Habitat

Woodland as well as heathland and moorland with birch scrub

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Spp. galbanus well distributed throughout most of England from Cornwall to Northumberland, in Ireland and parts of Wales. Spp. scotica well distributed in mainland Scotland.
Yellow Horned - Derek Parker

Yellow Horned

Yellow Horned - Garry Barlow

Yellow Horned

Yellow Horned - Ryszard Szczygieł

Yellow Horned

Yellow Horned - Iain Leach

Yellow Horned

Yellow Horned (egg) - Patrick Clement

Yellow Horned (egg)

Yellow Horned (caterpillar) - Patrick Clement

Yellow Horned (caterpillar)

Yellow Horned (caterpillar) - Patrick Clement

Yellow Horned (caterpillar)

Yellow Horned (pupa) - Ilia Ustyantsev

Yellow Horned (pupa)


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