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Kitten, Prominent and Tussock moths

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Group: 
Moths

These are three types of notodontidae family. Each has distinctive characteristics but in general are stout, hairy and sombre!

The information about this group of species has been organised into reports, charts, maps and photos. Click a pic below to see the detail:

Distribution Map Some Charts Some Photographs Sites List Records List Original Tweets Guidance Notes

Small Eggar

Eriogaster lanestris
Click species photo for details of this species:

A winter nocturnal species found mainly in Dorset and Somerset.


 

 

Photo by:
Retweet

Oak Eggar

Lasiocampa quercus
Click species photo for details of this species:

A species most often seen as a caterpillar on the ground than as an adult moth.


 

 

Pebble Prominent

Notodonta ziczac
Click species photo for details of this species:

The pebble prominent is another one of those moths that are really very common, attractive to look at and yet rarely seen by anyone other than an enthusiast with a moth trap. The pebble prominent has a dark patch on the rear of the forewings that look like eyes when open.

Marbled Brown

Drymonia dodonaea
Click species photo for details of this species:

This is one of those moths that is well camouflaged and rarely seen despite being common and widespread in Dorset, indeed across most of southern England. It has a twig-like appearance and the dark marbled colouring makes it almost invisible when at rest, usually on oak trees.

It flies in May and June and uses oak as its food plant for the larvae.


 

 

Swallow Prominent

Pheosia tremula
Click species photo for details of this species:

This photograph does not show it as the moth is totally at rest but as it becomes more active the back of the forewings forms a distinctive V shape and hence was named the swallow prominent as it recalls the tail of the swallow.

Lesser Swallow Prominent

Pheosia gnoma
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Associated with birch trees so often found near heaths and light scrub where these trees grow.


 

 

Photo by:
Peter Orchard

Pale Prominent

Pterostoma palpina
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Quite a common species in southern England.


 

Photo by:
Peter Orchard

Puss moth

Cerura vinula
Photo by:
Peter Orchard

Sallow Kitten

Furcula furcula
Click species photo for details of this species:

The sallow kitten is a pretty little moth with an intricate wing marking pattern. Most of the kitten moths are attractive and not dissimilar but the sallow kitten is the most common and most likely to be encountered.

It is associated with woodland and bushy scrub and the larvae are usually found on willow species, especially goat willow, which is also known as sallow so it is easy to see where the name came from.

A nocturnal species flying in June and July.

Buff-tip

Phalera bucephala
Click species photo for details of this species:

An amazing moth that looks just like a birch twig when at rest and so rarely seen by day.


 

Black Arches

Lymantria monacha
Click species photo for details of this species:

It is, perhaps, strange that this predominantly white moth should be called the black arches. When you look at closely, however, you can see a series of black arches across the forewings and I guess that is where the name comes from.

This smart, attractive moth is quite common in August and is mainly a species of woodland and you may, apparently, ocassionally find them asleep during the day on oak tree trunks which is the main food plant of its larvae.


 

Brown-tail

Euproctis chrysorrhoea
Click species photo for details of this species:

The brown-tail moth is actually very familiar to any of who walk in the countryside although more so as a caterpillar than a flying moth. The larvae live in large communal webs on bushes and trees, especially bramble but also on hawthorn and blackthorn. The caterpillars are well known for causing skin iritations if handled.

Pale Tussock

Calliteara pudibunda
Click species photo for details of this species:

The first thing you notice about the pale tussock moth is how furry its head and front legs are! To a degree , this is a common feature of this family of moths but it is really noticible in the pale tussock.