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

This is one of the few moth species that can damage clothing and carpets but you can deter them from households. The adult moth is a pale silvery grey-brown with dark spots, and approximately 7mm long. The larva makes a portable case for itself out of wool and other fibres.

The caterpillars of this delicately patterned moth depend on Barberry plants for their survival. Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) is not generally thought to be native to Britain but it was once planted widely as a hedgerow shrub as it grows densely and has sharp spines. However, in the 19th century it was discovered that the plant is a host for a fungus that causes stem rust, which damages wheat crops. As a result, Barberry was removed in many areas and the moth population declined.

Blair’s Mocha is resident to southern and eastern Europe, and is an increasingly common visitor to Britain. Colours and markings can be quite variable but generally they are pale orange-brown with dark-ringed central spots, a central cross-line and inner and outer dotted lines. The forewings have a thin dark edge which ends in a dark mark at the wing tip.

Flight Times

They usually arrive in Britain in late summer, from August to October. There is no evidence of it breeding in the UK.

Size and Family

  • Family – Mochas and waves (Sterrhinae)

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.

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.

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