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Footmen

There are 5 species of Footman which are similar and are relatively common - at least in the South

1. Common Footman and Dingy Footman which are common, especially in the South

2. Buff Footman, Orange Footman and Scarce Footman which are generally less common, particularly in the North  

These moths vary a great deal in colour, particularly Common Footman, Dingy Footman and Buff Footman. Shape of the forewing and of the moth at rest are usually the best distinguishing features.

Common Footman


At rest the leading edges are roughly parallel

A yellow stripe all down the leading edge narrows towards the wing tip.

Most of the forewing is plain grey

Wing curved lightly over the body

The leading edge of the forewing curves but only slightly

Dingy Footman

Leading edge of forewing is very curved so that moth at rest is the shape of a pumpkin seed

Colouring may be various shades of yellow or grey. Grey forms have a yellow stripe all down the leading edge of the forewing but less distinct than in Common Footman.

Buff footman

Leading edge is curved less than Dingy Footman and more than Common Footman

Male is usually grey-white with yellow stripe about a third of the way down the leading edge and yellow colouring at the outer edge of the forewing.

The female Buff Footman (not shown) is the same shape, but usually a brownish-grey with an orange/yellow stripe along the leading edge

Orange footman

Flight period for the Orange Footman is mainly May to June. The main confusion species is the Dingy Footman with flight period mainly July and August


Orange Footman is bright orange but can fade to the colour of some forms of Dingy Footman.

There is a bulge in the curve of the leading edge towards the tip of the forewing.

Scarce Footman

Scarce Footman has similar colouring to the Common Footman.

Wings curled tightly over the body at rest so that wings appear to taper towards the outer edge.

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Note :- For similar moths found on rocky coasts of South-west England and South-west Wales check also Hoary Footman

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