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.

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’.

The Feathered Gothic is common and well distributed throughout most of Britain but very local further north. Adults are regularly attracted to light, particularly males.

Winter is spent as an egg, these are scattered over grassland while the moth is in flight. The caterpillars can be found between March and July, feeding at night, at first on the leaves and when larger, on ground level on the stems.

Flight Season

Flies in one generation from August to September.

Sometimes referred to as the Blue Underwing, the Clifden Nonpareil is a very large and impressively beautiful and rare moth.

This unmistakable insect is strongly attracted to sugar at dusk and will come to light but can also be seen by day at rest on tree trunks and walls. It has even been recorded flying inland from the sea.

Winter is spent as an egg on the foodplant with the caterpillars hatching the following spring when they can be found through to July, feeding at night. The pupa is made in a silken cocoon that is spun between leaves or among leaf litter.

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.

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.

This common species is easily recognised by their round-tipped forewing, with large, rounded, pale-outlined oval and kidney mark and uniformly grey hindwing. Markings are extremely variable but always a shade of brown or grey.

The caterpillars can be found from April to June, living at first in the developing buds before going on to feed on the leaves, fully grown larvae can be found resting on the underside of the leaf. 

The adult moth often comes to light and to sugar in large numbers but adults will also feed on sallow catkins and the flowers of Blackthorn.

Often found inside houses and being continuously brooded can be seen at any time of the year. Accidentally introduced across the world with dried stored goods.

Flight Season

Flies throughout the year in multiple broods.

Size and Family

  • Family – Oecophoridae
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 15-21mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common Resident

Caterpillar Food Plants

The caterpillars feed on dried plant and animal debris.

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