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Other Macro Moths

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Group: 
Moths

There are a number of British moths from very small families. Here are a selection of those that are not part of the families listed above.

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

Common Swift

Hepialus lupulinus
Click species photo for details of this species:

The common swift is a small moth that flies at dusk rather than in the depths of night so you might see it if you are out for an evening walk in May or June. Its larvae feed on the roots of grasses and and other plants so sadly can be deemed a pest and attacked accordingly. Despite that, this is a very common moth in the countryside and turns up in almost any habitat.


 

 

Hornet Clear-wing

Sesia apiformis
Click species photo for details of this species:

More common in the south-east than more westerly in Dorset.


 

 

Photo by:
Peter Orchard

Red-tipped Clearwing

Synanthedon formicaeformis
Click species photo for details of this species:

An uncommon species inhabiting damp places willows grow - probably under-recorded


 

 

Photo by:
Peter Orchard

Goat Moth

Cossus cossus

Leopard Moth

Zeuzera pyrina
Click species photo for details of this species:

Widely distributed but not common anywhere in the UK


 

 

Photo by:
Peter Orchard

Fox Moth

Macrothylacia rubi
Click species photo for details of this species:

If you are walking on the Dorset heathland in late summer you frequently find this large, furry caterpillar on the footpath in front of you. They overwinter as a larvae and they can also be seen in spring prior to pupation. The fox moth is actually common in other habitat as well and you will also encounter the caterpillar on downland and even woodland. 

Emperor Moth

Pavonia pavonia
Click species photo for details of this species:

If there is one species of moth I would love to see it has to be the emperor moth. Although the male flies by day in April and May and is quite common, apparently, on our local heathland, I have so far only ever found the larvae or caterpillar. The primary food plant of the larvae is heather altough they can also be found on shrubs such as hawthorn, blackthorn and sallow.

Chinese Character

Cilix glaucata
Click species photo for details of this species:

I wonder how many times I have passed a resting chinese character moth and dismissed it as a bird dropping? That, of course, is exactly what the moth wants me to think and it is its main defence against predation whilst sleeping out the day waiting for nightfall to become active again.

Kent Black Arches

Meganola albula
Click species photo for details of this species:

Although called the Kent dark arches this moth is found in Dorset. It is most common in the south-east of England but does occur all along the south coast as far west as Devon and it is believed that its range may be extending.

Saltmarsh Plume

Agdistis bennetii