This micro moth is only 3 or 4mm long and is dark grey with silvery-white streaks and a black spot at the apex. Seen during the summer months, it is a very common species in much of Britain and Ireland, where it can be found on sunny days visiting flowers, especially those of buttercup (Ranunculus) and Daisy (Asteraceae). There can sometimes be more than two dozen adults to a single flower.

Easily overlooked but when inspected closely, the moths can be recognised as they slowly 'pump' their wings open and closed. Occasionally comes to light.

This fairly distinctive and furry moth occurs locally throughout a large part of Britain. While variable, it is generally larger than the Pale Brindled Beauty, with a thicker thorax and abdomen, and broader wings.

The adult moths can sometimes be found resting on tree trunks and fences by day but the male is also attracted to light late at night, sometimes in large numbers. The female is rarely seen.

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.

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.

The Twin-spotted Quaker is a variable species but the blackish twin spots are usually obvious and the diagnostic feature of this common moth. The male is easily identified by the feathered antennae.

Feeding at night, the caterpillars can be found between April and June, resting during the day amongst leaves when small and hides in bark crevices when larger. Overwinters as a pupa with the adult moth fully formed inside before emerging the following spring.

The adult moth feeds at sallow catkins but can be attracted to light and sugar.

A large white or greyish-white furry moth, the Puss moth is named after the cat-like appearance of the adult. The female is generally larger and also differs in having a grey hindwing and sometimes forewing.

A distinctive moth that has little variation, freshly emerged individuals often have a violet tint. The name 'streamer' refers to the black marking streaming from the leading edge.

The caterpillars can be found between May and July before spending the winter as a pupa, in a cocoon in loose earth.

Sometimes found during the day resting on fence posts, the adult moth is usually encountered from dusk and is attracted to light.

Flight Season

Flies from late March to May in one generation.

A common moth in England but more local further north. Rests with wings tightly rolled, resembling a small cross. Usually a greyish-white to brown in colour. Each pair of spurs on the hind legs has one spur longer than the other.

Caterpillars feed in two overlapping generations from late May to September.

The adult moth is often seen on fence posts, walls and even indoors where they are attracted to light. Can also be found at Ivy blossom, ripe blackberries and, in spring, at sallow blossom.

The typical form of this common species has a distinct black mark on the forewing that is unique among spring-flying moths, but in northern parts, this mark may be the same as the ground colour, or paler.

This moth spends the winter as a pupa in an underground cocoon, with the adult fully formed inside. The caterpillars can be found between April and July, feeding mainly at night on the buds and then the leaves of their foodplant.

Adults fly late in the night, even in cold conditions and can be seen feeding at sallow blossom, also regularly attracted to light and sugar.

The male of this common species has a brownish forewing that is quite variable but can be distinguished by a row of black dots along the edge of both fore- and hindwing. The similar looking Mottled Umber lacks these markings and are less conspicuous in the Scarce Umber.

Caterpillars can be found between April and mid-June. Overwinters as a pupa underground

Males come to light and sometimes in large numbers while the female can be found by day resting on tree-trunks.

Subscribe to Northern Ireland