This is a large and distinctive butterfly, even in flight, as the white wing borders are unmistakable. The adults live solitary and, as such, migrate singly rather than in the swarms associated with other migrant species.

A small sandy-brown moth with a rather pointed forewing, often fading to a lighter shade of brown.

Easily disturbed by day from grass swords, where it rests on the stems. Flies from late afternoon, at dusk and after dark. Comes to light, sometimes in large numbers. Overwinters as a part-grown caterpillar, on stems near the ground.

Flight Season

Flies from Mid-June to early August in one generation, usually ending by the third week of July.

This species has an annual life cycle. It flies by day in a spinning motion that can be difficult to follow. Adults are seen in May, June and into July, but has been recorded in late April, August and September. The caterpillar feeds from July until autumn on the leaves and flowers of the foodplant, goldenrod, inhabiting a slight silken web under the lower leaves.

An unmistakable and attractive moth whose English name comes from the heart-shaped markings in the central part of the forewings. The scientific names refer to the two circular markings next to the ‘heart’ on the forewings, Dicycla meaning ‘two-circle’, and oo literally meaning ‘double O’.

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 Large Tortoiseshell was once widespread across Britain and most common in the woodlands of central and southern England but while its numbers were always known to fluctuate, it declined to extinction by the 1960s. This butterfly has not been recorded from Ireland.

It is still common in some parts of Europe, but declining in others. There continue to be sporadic records in Britain, the majority from the south coast but some are considered to be of specimens released from reared stock rather than genuine immigrants.

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.

The rare Liquorice Piercer micro-moth (Grapholita pallifrontana), is only found in some southern counties of England. The moth is blackish brown in colour with pale yellow streaks across its wings and is named for its caterpillar’s habit of piercing the pods of Wild Liquorice, its only foodplant.

Flight Times

The adults fly from late May to July, when the males fly on sunny afternoons.

Size and Family

  • Family – Tortricidae

  • Small sized

Like the other tiger moths this is a large colourful moth with bold markings. Its distinctive features are its black forewings with cream spots, yellow hindwings and a furry black thorax.

When disturbed it will display its hindwings and its orange/red abdomen to warn off predators.

It spends most of the year as a larva, from July to late April or early May, before pupating in a cocoon amongst low vegetation. The adult moth then emerges after about 20 days.

A large, strong-flying butterfly restricted to the Norfolk Broads, although migrants are occasionally seen elsewhere. Pale yellow wings with black veins and blue margins.

This is one of our rarest and most spectacular butterflies. The British race britannicus is a specialist of wet fenland and is currently restricted to the Norfolk Broads. Here the adults can be seen flying powerfully over open fen vegetation, stopping to feed on flowers such as thistles and Ragged-Robin.

Subscribe to Yellow