The typical form of this common species has a distinct black mark on the forewing, but in northern parts, this mark may be the same as the ground colour, or paler.

Adults can be seen feeding at sallow blossom, and is regularly attracted to light.

Flight Season

Flies throughout March and April in one generation.

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.

If there are pine trees nearby, you have a chance of seeing this beautiful, orange-red moth which flies from late February until the beginning of summer. Thanks to its colours and patterns, the moth blends in perfectly as it rests among the buds of the pine trees.

Contrary to the general decline of UK moths, the Pine Beauty has done well over recent decades, increasing in numbers as a result of pine trees being planted for timber production and as ornamental plants in gardens.

Adults feed in spring at sallow blossom and are attracted to light.

An abundant species that is variable in colour and sometimes pattern. The pale, or pale-outlined square kidney-mark is a conspicuous diagnostic character and only obscured in particularly dark examples. Fine dark cross-lines are usually visible, sometimes forming a series of small dark dots or dashes.

Winter is spent as a caterpillar where they feed at night from September through to April but only during mild weather. Once fully grown in March, the caterpillars spend up to six weeks in an underground cocoon before pupating.

An unmistakable species that is both common and widespread in Europe but unfortunately only a sporadic migrant to the British Isles with less than 200 records in the last century.

The moth occurs naturally in the Mediterranean and North Africa, and most immigrants are presumed to have originated there, typically arriving with plumes of warm air during the summer or autumn. Attracted to light but also flies during the day when it is easily disturbed.

The Monarch is the largest butterfly seen in the British Isles, and is also one of our rarest migrants. Known for its ability to travel large distances, the migrations in north America are one of the greatest natural phenomena in the world - where the adult butterflies can migrate from as far north as Canada to the overwintering grounds in Mexico, the west coast of California and Florida.

First recorded in the UK in 1876.

This rare noctuid moth looks similar to Frosted Orange but is paler and much larger. In Britain it is only found in North Essex and Kent. The larvae are dependent on the food plant, Hog’s Fennel, which also has a very limited distribution and is at risk from sea-level rise and poor habitat management. Efforts are being made to increase suitable habitat for the moth and establish populations that are safe from flooding.

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.

This is a pale grey moth with dark oval and kidney marks and dark marks along the leading edge. It is a resident of southern Europe and an increasingly common immigrant to Britain, being first recorded in 2002 in Kent.

Flight Times

They have two generations, from June to July and from September to October, the later generation usually being larger.

Size and Family

  • Family – Arches, brindles, minors, rustics and allies (Amphipyrinae)

  • Medium sized

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