Yellow-tail Euproctis similis

Erebidae » Lymantriinae

Yellow-tail Euproctis similis

72.013 (BF2030) Yellow-tail Euproctis similis (Fuessly, 1775)

Forewing length 16-23mm. I guess this moth speaks for itself. A beautiful white coloured moth where the male of the species has greyish spots towards the base of the forewings. The female is larger with unfeathered antennae, but the most distinguishing feature of both sexes is the bright yellowish tail of the abdomen.

Yellow-tail Euproctis similis

The adult flies July to August and is attracted to light. Seen in woodland, hedgerows and gardens. Common and widespread in southern Britain, local elsewhere. The hairy larva feeds on a wide range of broadleaved trees and shrubs.

Yellow-tail Euproctis similis

© Pete Hillman July 2011.

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

Lasiocampidae » Pinarinae

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

66.010 (BF1640) The Drinker Euthrix potatoria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Forewing length 21-35mm. Quite an unusual and very distinctive moth. The males are smaller than the females, and the males are an orange-brown, where the females are a yellowish-buff. The female appears in these images.

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

The adult flies July to August, and is attracted to light. Found in a variety of habitats, including open woodland and gardens. Fairly common and widespread in southern Britain, scarcer further north. The larva feeds on grasses and reeds.

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

© Pete Hillman June 2011.

The Herald Scoliopteryx libatrix

Erebidae » Scoliopteryginae

The Herald Scoliopteryx libatrix

72.001 (BF2469) The Herald Scoliopteryx libatrix (Linnaeus, 1758)

Forewing length 19-23 mm. Quite a stunning reddish moth which is one of the first to be seen heralding in the spring and one of the last to be seen in autumn. The adult hibernates over winter in barns and outbuildings, and other sheltered locations such as caves. It is well camouflaged amongst dead leaf litter.

The Herald Scoliopteryx libatrix

The adult flies March to November. Found in gardens, parkland, woodland and other places where the food plants grows. Common and widespread. The larva feeds on willows, Aspen, and other poplars.

© Pete Hillman May 2011.

Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria

Geometridae » Geometrinae

Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria

70.305 (BF1669) Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria (Hübner, 1789)

Wingspan 24 -27mm. A beautiful green forewing ground colour (best appreciated in fresh specimens) with darker green and white cross-lines which follow through on the underwings. Chequered fringes and distinctive wing shape makes this moth unmistakable.

The adult flies June to July after dusk, and is attracted to light. Found in woodland, parkland, hedgerows and gardens. Common and widespread in southern England and Wales. The larva feeds on a variety of trees and shrubs, including Hawthorn, Blackthorn, oaks and willows.

© Pete Hillman June 2011.

Broad-barred White Hecatera bicolorata

Noctuidae » Hadeninae

Broad-barred White Hecatera bicolorata

73.279 (BF2164) Broad-barred White Hecatera bicolorata (Hufnagel, 1766)

Wingspan 28-35mm. Forewing length 13-15mm.

Quite a distinctive species with its white colouration and broad, dark central band on the forewings.

The adult flies June to August, and is found on downland and in gardens. Common and widespread in the south, less so further north. The larva feeds on the flowers and buds of hawkweeds and other related plants.

© Pete Hillman June 2011.

Mint Moth Caterpillar

Pyrausta aurata

Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata larva

I found these caterpillars on Water Mint growing in my garden pond. The bottom two images show early stage larvae which I discovered on my shed wall. Note the difference in colours.

Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata larva

The larva feeds on the leaves and flowers of various species of mint, including wild and cultivated varieties. They also feed on Marjoram, Dead-nettle,  and other Labiataes and herbs. More mature larvae spin a web, a silken retreat, on the foodplant from which they feed.

Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata larva

They are seen June and July, and into the autumn. The autumn generation hibernate in their cocoons

Mint Moth Pyrausta aurata larva

See about adult here.

© Pete Hillman June and September 2017.

 

Oak Eggar Caterpillar

Lasiocampa quercus
Oak Eggar Lasiocampa quercus

I came across this striking hairy caterpillar as it crawled over a sea wall when I was on a visit to Llandudno, Wales. They do not feed on oak as the English name leads us to believe, but its cocoon looks much like an acorn. The hairs may cause skin irritation, which is the caterpillar’s defense mechanism. They can grow up to 80mm long.

Oak Eggar Lasiocampa quercus

The larva can take a year to grow in the south, and two years further norther where it is cooler. They feed quite rapidly and change appearance as they grow which can make them hard to identify compared to other Eggars. It feeds on a variety of plants, including heather and bramble.

Oak Eggar Lasiocampa quercus

© Pete Hillman April 2014, West Shore, Llandudno, Wales

Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea

Noctuidae » Hadeninae

Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea

73.267 (BF2160) Bright-line Brown-eye Lacanobia oleracea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 32-37mm. Forewing length 14-19mm.

The shade of the brown forewing may vary a little. Note the ‘brown-eye’, the kidney-mark with the bright orange blotch in the centre, and the white cross-line forming a ‘W’.

The adult flies May to July, and is found in various habitats, including suburban gardens. Common and widespread. The larva feeds on a wide variety of wild and cultivated herbaceous and woody plants.

© Pete Hillman July 2015.

Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella

Adelidae » Adelinae

Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella

7.006 (BF150) Green Long-horn Adela reaumurella (Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 14-18mm. Forewing length 7-9mm.

The above image is of the male with his extraordinary long  white antennae, which are three times the length of the forewing. The forewing can have a dark green or bluish-green tint, sometimes with a golden tint.

The adult flies in May and June, and in the daytime, where they may swarm. Found in woodland and heathland, amongst other habitats. Common in England and Wales, more local elsewhere, but widespread. The larva feeds on dead leaves on the ground.

© Pete Hillman May 2015, local wood, Staffordshire.

Lobster Moth Stauropus fagi

Notodontidae » Dicranurinae

Lobster Moth Stauropus fagi

71.009 (BF1999) Lobster Moth Stauropus fagi (Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 45-60mm. Forewing length 24-33mm.

Now this rather unusual moth looks like it could be a furry pet. A large distinctive moth which rests with its hindwings protruding beyond the edge of the forewings.

Lobster Moth Stauropus fagi

The adult flies  May to July. It is attracted to light. Found in mature woodland. Widespread and common in the south of Britain. The larva feeds on birch, beech, oak and various other trees. The moth gets its name from the larva which looks like a crustacean.

Lobster Moth Stauropus fagi

Lobster Moth Stauropus fagi

© Pete Hillman June 2013.