This is a medium-sized pale grey moth with distinctive long black markings. It is a recent colonist, being first recorded in Britain in 1951 on the Isle of Wight and since then it has quickly spread north, as far as southern Scotland. It is common in areas where Cypress trees are present and benefits from the planting of Cypress trees in parks and gardens.

It overwinters as an egg, laid on Cypress leaves. The larvae occur from March to July and then they pupate underground.

When at rest the wings are gently curled flat over the body. The forewings are greenish-grey with a well-defined yellow stripe along the leading edge. The hindwings are a yellow-straw colour which can be noticed during flight.

Can sometimes be seen basking in the sunshine on tree trunks, walls or posts. Frequently comes to light. They overwinter as small larvae so the caterpillars can be seen from August to the following May.

Size and Family

  • Family – Carpets and Allies (Larentiines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 18-23mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Priority Species
  • Nationally Scarce

Caterpillar Description

Overwinters as a pupa. The larva feeds from late June to early September, preferring the flowers and floral leaves

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Wood Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides)

One of three similar species, this iridescent green moth can be difficult to distinguish from related species. Generally larger than the Cistus Forester (which is usually found near Common Rock-rose). Can be distinguished from the Forester on antennal characters, those of the male Scarce Forester being more pointed, whereas those of the Forester are rounded and broader.

This moth is unmistakable as no other species has plain black wings and a red collar.  The long narrow wings, which are often wrapped around the body when at rest, are characteristic of this group of moths and gave rise to their name, as they are said to resemble the long coats worn by servants in Victorian times.

Can be found resting on the leaves of bushes, grasses etc. and may also fly around the tops of oak trees and conifers in sunny weather. Also flies at night.

One of three similar species, this iridescent green moth can be difficult to distinguish from related species. However, it is generally smaller than either the Forester or Scarce Forester, and the presence of good quantities of the Cistus Forester’s foodplant, Common Rock-rose, can be a useful indication of this species.

The adults are active by day, the moth visiting flowers such as Common Rock-rose, Kidney Vetch, Wild Thyme and Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil. The caterpillars can be found from July to the following May, before pupating in a cocoon close to the ground.

This distinctive moth has sometimes been mistaken for the Small Blue butterfly. It rarely varies in colour but may become browner with wear. This moth is usually very active by day, especially in sunshine.

Size and Family

  • Family – Carpets and Allies (Larentiines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 24-30mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Feeds on the flowers and seeds of Pignut (Conopodium majus).

A small butterfly with a darting flight, widespread in England and Wales. Bright orange-brown wings held with forewings angled above hind wings. Males have thin black line through centre of forewing, parallel to leading edge. Small Skipper is similar but lacks black tips to antenna (best viewed head on) and has longer scent brand, angled to edge of forewing.

Superficially similar to the Scarce Forester (A. globulariae) and Cistus Forester (A. geryon), care being needed to separate these species. Often found feeding at flowers, such as those of Devil's-bit Scabious, Field Scabious and Marsh Thistle.

Overwinters as a larva. At first mines the leaves, then feeding exposed on the lower leaves. Pupates in a cocoon spun near the ground and concealed amongst vegetation.

The Green Hairstreak holds its wings closed, except in flight, showing only the green underside with its faint white streak. The extent of this white marking is very variable; it is frequently reduced to a few white dots and may be almost absent. Males and females look similar and are most readily told apart by their behaviour: rival males may be seen in a spiralling flight close to shrubs, while the less conspicuous females are more often encountered while laying eggs.

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