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6. Macromoths including Zygaenidae (Burnets) and Drepanidae (Hook-tips)



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Photo of Fox Moth by Graeme Davis

1637 Oak Eggar  Lasiocampa quercus

Flying :Mainly May to August    


Female (about 18mm) is larger than Male (about 14mm). Varies in colour

Oak Eggar - female
Photo by David Owen

Five-spot Burnet and Narrow-Bordered Five-spot Burnet are species which often cannot be distinguished from photographs. Five-spot generally has shorter, more rounded wings than Narrow-bordered.


1654 Figure of Eighty   Tethea ocularis

Flying :May, June, July


1657 Common Lutestring   Ochropacha duplaris

Flying :Late May, June, July, August


1659 Yellow Horned  Achlya flavicornis

Flying :Late February, March, April     Common

Identified by orange antennae - but often hides them (see close-up)

1660 Frosted Green  Polyploca ridens

Flying : Mainly April and early May         

Classified as ‘local’ but fairly common in Southern England and Wales

0014  Ghost Moth  Hepialus humuli

Male has white forewings, Female Orange

Flying :June, July, August          Common

Size very variable - Forewing about 25mm  

0015 Orange Swift Hepialus sylvina

Flying :August, September            Common

Size very variable - female often larger than male.

0017 Common Swift Hepialus lupulinus

Flying :May, June.        Common

Size very variable - Forewing about 15mm.

0161  Leopard Moth  Zeuzera pyrina

Flying :June, July, August


0169  Six-spot Burnet    Zygaena filipendulae

Flying :June, July, August       Common

Six red spots on each forewing

0170  Five-spot Burnet    Zygaena trifolii

Flying :June, July, August

Common in South and South-east England only.

Five red spots on each forewing - middle pair may join together

Becoming uncommon away from Southern chalk downs

0171  Narrow-Bordered Five-spot Burnet    Zygaena lonicerae

Flying :June, July, August

Five red spots on each forewing

Most Five-spot Burnets are this species

0173 Festoon  Apoda limacodes

Flying :June, July

Status Nationally scarce but seems to be increasing in the South

0380  Red-tipped Clearwing synanthedon formicaeformis

Flying :June, July

Status Nationally scarce but probably under-recorded.

0374  Yellow legged clearwing  synanthedon vespiformis

Flying :June, July

Status Nationally scarce but probably under-recorded.

0371 Lunar Hornet Moth Sesia bembeciformis

Flying :July, August


1631  December Moth   Poecilocampa populi

Flying :Mainly November, December


1634 Lackey Moth  Malacosoma neustria

Flying :July, August    


Female (about 18mm) is larger than Male (about 14mm). Varies in colour

1638 Fox Moth   Macrothylacia rubi

Flying :May, June         Common

Female (Forewing about 28mm) is larger than Male (about 23mm)

Female flies only at night; male mainly by day

1640 Drinker  Euthrix potatoria

Flying : June, July, August     Common

Female (Forewing about 30mm) is much larger than Male (about 23mm)

Male is also usually a rich brown colour whereas female is more yellow

1645 Scalloped Hook-tip  Falcaria lacertinaria

Flying :April, May, July, August (two generations)   Common

Varied in colour

Rests with wings curved into a tube

1643 Emperor  Saturnia pavonia

Flying :April, May.   Common

Female (Forewing about 38mm) is larger than Male (about 30mm), but Male is more brightly coloured.

1642 Lappet  Gastropacha quercifolia

Flying :June, July, August

Common in Southern England, the Midlands and East Anglia

1652 Peach Blossom  Thyatira batis

Flying :Mainly May, June, July


1646 Oak Hook-tip   Watsonalla binaria

Flying :May, June, July, August, September (two generations).   Common

Varied in colour

1648 Pebble Hook-tip   Drepana falcataria

Flying :May. June; July, August   (two generations)


1651 Chinese Character  Cilix glaucata

Flying :April,May,June; July,August,September  (two generations)


Usually rests with wings together - looks like a bird dropping.

1653 Buff Arches  Habrosyne pyritoides

Flying :June, July, August - mainly July


Photo of  Peach Blossom by Liz and Philip Rapley


Geometer pics

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Sesiidae A family containing about a dozen UK moths - of which the Lunar Hornet Moth is classed as common but others are ‘Nationally Scarce’. This could be because of under-recording as the moths fly by day and do not immediately look like moths, so two of these have been included as examples.



Photo of  male Ghost Moth by Graeme Davis

Photo of Red-tipped Clearwing by Graeme Davis

Photo of  Lunar Hornet Moth by Graeme Davis

Female                       Male

Female                         Male