A large-winged, sombre-coloured moth, the adults are not readily attracted to light but are frequent at sugar.

Flight Season

Flies from July to August in one generation.

Size and Family

  • Family – Noctuidae
  • Large Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 55-65mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Local

Caterpillar Food Plants

Caterpillars feed on blackthorn (Prunus spinosa) and other trees and shrubs.

Not found in the UK.

Size and Family

  • Family: Swallowtails
  • Size: Large
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 70-90mm

Conservation Status

  • Butterfly Conservation priority: N/A                 
  • European Status: Vulnerable

Caterpillar Foodplants

Caterpillars feed on stonecrop (Sedum species)

Habitat

Diverse - rocky and stony places and vineyards in hills and mountains.

Not found in the UK.

Size and Family

  • Family: Nymphalids
  • Size: Medium
  • Wing Span Range (male to female): 35-55mm

Conservation Status

  • Butterfly Conservation priority: Low                    
  • European Status: Not threatened

Caterpillar Foodplants

Caterpillars feed on leaves of the Nettle-tree (Celtis australis)

Habitat

Open light woodland but also shrubs and even urban places

Not found in the UK. There are two forms of this magnificent butterfly - the blue form ilia and the orange-brown form clytie, the latter is more commonly encountered in southern regions of its distribution.

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.

Subscribe to Spots