When at rest the Red Sword-grass is brilliantly camouflaged as a bit of wood. Indeed its scientific name Xylena vetusta means ‘old wood’. It is a widespread species in northern and western parts of the UK, but is capable of long-distance flights so can turn up anywhere.

Red Sword-grass moths hibernate through the winter, starting to emerge in March. The moths visit early blossom such as sallow to drink nectar as well as feeding on the sap of birches.

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.

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.

A large, strong-flying butterfly restricted to the Norfolk Broads, although migrants are occasionally seen elsewhere. Pale yellow wings with black veins and blue margins.

This is one of our rarest and most spectacular butterflies. The British race britannicus is a specialist of wet fenland and is currently restricted to the Norfolk Broads. Here the adults can be seen flying powerfully over open fen vegetation, stopping to feed on flowers such as thistles and Ragged-Robin.

This species can be quite distinctive although it is also very variable in its colouring. The forewings have three cross-lines; a high cross-line curving around a white spot, a central scalloped cross-line and a lower cross-line which is irregular and jagged. The wings can be predominantly warm reddish-brown but also commonly with areas of grey and brown.

The adults are incapable of feeding. They fly at night and are attracted to light. In mainland Europe they overwinter as part-grown larvae on the ground among fallen tree needles or moss.

This species is easily identified by the protruding snout and unusual resting wing posture where the hind wings protruding in front of the forewings. There is little variation in the colouration except for rare pale or black forms.

The adults are incapable of feeding. They fly at night and are attracted to light in small numbers. The caterpillars can be found from August to late the following May, feeding at night and overwintering a small larvae. They pupate in a tough cocoon on the ground.

One of only three species of this family that are found in the British Isles.

The adults are incapable of feeding. The caterpillars live inside the trunks of a variety of broadleaved trees feeding on the wood. They overwinter three or four times as larvae and a final time as pupae.

The wings are a pale yellow colour which fades whiter with age, with two darker lines crossing the forewings and one line crossing the hindwings.

The adults are occasionally disturbed during the day but they are strictly nocturnal flying rapidly at night. They are attracted to light. They overwinter as caterpillars in a bark crevice.

The grey forewings are crossed by jagged cross-lines and bands. The red hindwing which gives it the English name has a black band around the scalloped margin, fringed with white. Another irregular black band runs across the centre of the red patch of the hindwing.

The larvae can be found from May to July feeding at night and hiding under loose bark or in a crevice during the day. They overwinter as eggs.

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.

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