This is a large and distinctive butterfly, even in flight, as the white wing borders are unmistakable. The adults live solitary and, as such, migrate singly rather than in the swarms associated with other migrant species.
This species has an annual life cycle. It flies by day in a spinning motion that can be difficult to follow. Adults are seen in May, June and into July, but has been recorded in late April, August and September. The caterpillar feeds from July until autumn on the leaves and flowers of the foodplant, goldenrod, inhabiting a slight silken web under the lower leaves.
The Rosy Underwing is superficially similar to the native Red Underwing but is slightly smaller and paler looking. Comes to sugar and sometimes to light.
No evidence of breeding in the British Isles but in Europe, the caterpillars can be found between May and June.
There are less than two dozen records from the UK with the first from Shoreham, Sussex in 1875. First recorded on the Channel Islands in 2002 where it is now thought to be resident.
Flies from July to September in one generation, immigrants to the UK can be seen from August.
A rather long-winged species, the Black Rustic is a distinctive moth that is common in the south with a scattered distribution in the north.
Adults come to light and sugar but can also be seen feeding on the flowers of Ivy and even overripe Blackberries.
Caterpillars can be found between October and May, overwintering as small larvae and feeding at night, hiding low down by day. Pupates underground.
Flies in one generation from September to October, slightly earlier in the north.
A local species, So-called because of the caterpillars habit of eating away the parenchyma from the upper surface of leaves of the foodplant, within a silk web, resulting in a skeleton leaf appearance.
Adults can be seen resting by day on leaves but are also attracted to light.
Flies in two generations, from June-July and again from late August to March when it overwinters, has been recorded in May.
The Feathered Gothic is common and well distributed throughout most of Britain but very local further north. Adults are regularly attracted to light, particularly males.
Winter is spent as an egg, these are scattered over grassland while the moth is in flight. The caterpillars can be found between March and July, feeding at night, at first on the leaves and when larger, on ground level on the stems.
Flies in one generation from August to September.
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.
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)
This micro moth is only 3 or 4mm long and is dark grey with silvery-white streaks and a black spot at the apex. Seen during the summer months, it is a very common species in much of Britain and Ireland, where it can be found on sunny days visiting flowers, especially those of buttercup (Ranunculus) and Daisy (Asteraceae). There can sometimes be more than two dozen adults to a single flower.
Easily overlooked but when inspected closely, the moths can be recognised as they slowly 'pump' their wings open and closed. Occasionally comes to light.
This large, powerful butterfly is usually seen flying swiftly over the tops of bracken or low vegetation in woodland clearings. In flight, the males are almost impossible to separate from those of the Dark Green Fritillary, which often share the same habitats. However, both species frequently visit flowers such as thistles and Bramble where it is possible to see their distinctive underside wing markings. The Dark Green lacks the orange ringed 'pearls' on the underside of the hindwing.
This fairly distinctive and furry moth occurs locally throughout a large part of Britain. While variable, it is generally larger than the Pale Brindled Beauty, with a thicker thorax and abdomen, and broader wings.
The adult moths can sometimes be found resting on tree trunks and fences by day but the male is also attracted to light late at night, sometimes in large numbers. The female is rarely seen.