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.

At rest the wings are held over the body like a tent. The triangular-shaped forewing has a curved leading edge.

The adults mainly fly at night and are attracted to light, usually only on warm nights. The caterpillars can be found from August to the following May overwintering as fully grown larvae in gall-like cocoons on a leaf or twig.

The males have six yellow bands but the females have only five, both with orange scales on the tip and along the central bar of the forewings and largely yellow legs.

The adults can sometimes be found using sweep nets. The caterpillars feed inside the roots of the foodplant from July to the following May, overwintering as larvae.

Similar in size and appearance to the Currant Clearwing but missing the yellow collar or thorax markings of the Currant Clearwing.

The caterpillars spend two years feeding in thin stems of the willow foodplant causing a pear-shaped gall overwintering as larvae.

The only British emerald moth which is not green in colour, the wings are beige or brown with subtle reddish freckling.

The adults fly at night and area attracted to light. At rest they hang from grass stems and can be disturbed from vegetation during the day. The caterpillars can be found from August to late the following May overwintering as small larvae on the foodplant near the ground.

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