Getting Some Shade

Geometer Moth Caterpillar

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Geometer moth caterpillar, also known as an ‘inchworm’, on rose leaf, taken August 2016, rear garden , Staffordshire, England.

Common Emerald

Hemithea aestivaria

Common Emerald (Hemithea aestivaria)

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.  Wingspan 24 to 27mm.

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 caterpillars feed on a variety of trees and shrubs, including Hawthorn, Blackthorn, oaks and willows.

June 2011, rear garden, Staffordshire. Camera Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ38. © Pete Hillman 2011.

Brimstone Moth

Opisthograptis luteolata

Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)

Unmistakable moth with its attractive bright yellow colouration and light-brown flecks on the forewing tips. Wingspan up to 37mm.

Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata)

The caterpillar feeds on Blackthorn, Hawthorn, and other rosaceous trees and shrubs.

It flies April to October, in two to three generations. Readily attracted to light.

Found in gardens, woods, hedges, scrub, heaths and downs. Common and widespread throughout.

Photographs of Brimstone Moth (Opisthograptis luteolata) taken June 2014, rear garden, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2014. Camera used Nikon D3200, with Sigma 105mm macro lens.


Swallow-tailed Moth

Ourapteryx sambucaria – One would be forgiven for thinking this is a butterfly. This is a large pale lemon moth with a wingspan of 40-50mm. It has distinctive pointed hindwings with two reddish-brown spots on the bases. There are darker cross-lines on the forewings and hindwings. The colours fade as it gets older and it becomes whiter. The adult flies June to mid-August. It is attracted to light, and is found in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens. A fairly common and widespread species. The larvae feed on various broadleaved trees and shrubs.

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)

Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, June 2014. Nikon D3200 © Peter Hillman

Who’s Looking At Who?

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata f. remutata)

This was the second moth I discovered on my patio door today, and this one was peering through the side window having a good look in. It is geometer moth, of which there are two forms of this particular species, this one being Idaea aversata f. remutata. This form has fine, delicate darkish lines on its forewings, where as the other, typical form, has a wide dark cross band.