A brown moth with fine dark cross-lines on the forewings curving around the 80 mark. The forewings are broader then the Figure of Eight moth. The adults fly at night and are attracted to light.

The caterpillars can be found from mid-July to September feeding at night and resting between two leaves spun flat together during the day. They overwinter as pupae in a delicate cocoon between leaves of the foodplant which fall to the ground with the leaves in autumn.

The usual form in rural areas is all white peppered with black dots on both the wings and body. Black forms known as f. carbonaria were once dominant in industrial areas with high levels of pollution although their frequency has been steadily declining in recent years. Intermediate forms known collectively as f. insularia are variable between the light and dark forms.

The larvae can be seen between early July and late September before they overwinter as pupae just below the ground.

Size and Family

The adults fly at night and are attracted to light. In the day, they hide in ground cover.

The larvae can be seen from July to mid-September, remaining on the foodplant when young and then as they become larger feeding mainly at night and hiding in leaf litter during the day.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thyatiridae
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 32-38mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Bramble (Rubus fruiticosus).

An unmistakeable moth with broad, glossy black wings and a large conspicuous white kidney mark.

The larvae can be seen from August to October feeding both at day and night, resting on the foodplant. They overwinter underground as pupae.

The forewings are uniformly brown in colour with a fine white outer cross-line forming a W (the bright-line) and an orange blotch kidney-mark (the brown-eye).

The larvae can be found from June to October, feeding at night. They then overwinter as pupae underground.

A very scarce immigrant from southern Europe, seen between May and October.

Size and Family

  • Family: Hawk-moths (Sphingidae)
  • Large: 5.5-7.5cm 

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Perennial herbaceous spurges; larvae rarely found in Britain, though did breed several times on the south coast in 19th century, usually on Spurge (Euphorbia spp.). 

The adults come to light, but do not feed. 

They overwinter as shiny black/brown pupae, below or near the larval foodplant. The caterpillars can be seen from June to September and resemble the Poplar Hawk-moth caterpillar, apart from the bluish-coloured spike at the rear.

Size and Family

  • Family - Hawk-moths (Sphingidae)
  • Large Sized
  • Wingspan Range - 70-80mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

The adults emit a squeak when alarmed, made by expelling air through its proboscis (tongue), which has a structure that vibrates like the reed of a wind instrument. The species is nocturnal, only usually seen in light traps and sometimes in bee hives in search of honey.

The caterpillars are also very large; in a good immigration year it can be seen in potato fields, pupating underground from August to October (although the moth is unable to survive winters in the UK).

A medium-sized silvery grey moth which frequents mountain and moorland areas with rocky outcrops. The moth is nocturnal and is attracted to light traps, sometimes in large numbers. 

The larvae can be seen from Auust to the following late May or June, feeding mainly at night.They pupate in a flimsy cocoon under moss, among rocks or just below the ground.

This Fritillary is similar in size and habitats to the Pearl-bordered Fritillary but is more widespread and occurs in damper, grassy habitats as well as woodland clearings and moorland.

The adults fly close to the ground, stopping frequently to take nectar from flowers such as Bramble and thistles. It can be idenfidied from the more numerous whitish pearls on the underside hind wings, the outer ones bordered by black chevrons and from the larger black central dot.

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