A very scarce visitor to the British Isles, with only two records - one attracted to light in East Sussex in May 1985 and a second found in the docks of East London in July 1995.

The caterpillar has not been found in Britain.

Flight Season

Adults could be seen in the UK between May and July.

Size and Family

  • Family: Hawk-moths (Sphingidae)
  • Size: Medium, 37-42mm wingspan

Caterpillar Food Plants

Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis) as well as willowherb (Epilobium)

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.

The male of this common species has a brownish forewing that is quite variable but can be distinguished by a row of black dots along the edge of both fore- and hindwing. The similar looking Mottled Umber lacks these markings and are less conspicuous in the Scarce Umber.

Caterpillars can be found between April and mid-June. Overwinters as a pupa underground

Males come to light and sometimes in large numbers while the female can be found by day resting on tree-trunks.

This distinctive micro-moth lives in oak trees and is regularly seen in gardens as well as in woodland.

Typically a lovely blue-green colour, the detail of the moth’s appearance is very variable – some individuals have strongly defined black markings on the wings while others are almost plain, and the wings sometimes have a rough texture caused by tiny tufts of scales.

Despite its diminutive size, this moth hibernates as an adult and emerges from late winter onwards, when it can be attracted to moth-traps and outside lights.

An unmistakable moth in the early spring, identifiable by the two broad brown bands across the forewing which vary in width and are edged with black. There is a darker form where the banding is still present but less conspicuous. Ground colour varies from white to greenish-grey.

The forewings are marbled with black and white markings. They fly at night and are attracted to light.

The caterpillars can be found from late May to mid-July feeding at night and resting on the underside of a leaf during the day. They overwinter as pupae under moss at the base of a tree in leaf litter or soil.

The wings are a dull green colour with a gold leading forewing edge and two fairly straight, white cross-lines. Similar to Little Emerald but a stronger green in colour.

The adults fly at night from dusk and are attracted to light. The caterpillars can be found from July to August before overwintering as pupae suspended by threads from the foodplant or in leaf litter.

The wings are rounded with two white cross-lines on the forewings and a single cross-line on the hindwing. They are a rich blue-green colour fading to white with age.

The adults fly at night from dusk and are attracted to light. The caterpillars can be found from July or August to the following June overwintering as larvae. They pupate in a cocoon suspended by threads from the foodplant.

The adults fly at dusk and are attracted to light. The caterpillars can be found from June to early October before overwintering as green pupae.

Easily identified by its large size and the scalloped edge to the wings. The green wing colour does not fade as in most other emeralds. White cross-lines are also scalloped with lines of white dots below.

The adults rest with wings spread and raised at an angle similar to a butterfly. They fly at night and are attracted to light but also occasionally fly high in the tree canopy on warm, sunny days.  The caterpillars can be found from July to the following June and are first brown becoming green with brown lumps after overwintering.

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