Clawford Nature Trail.

Moths.

Moths are closely related to the Butterflies.

Nearly 2,500 species of Moths have been found in the UK, whereas about 70 species of Butterflies are known.

So you can appreciate only some of the more interesting species of Moths will be listed.

Moths can be found throughout the year, even in mid Winter. The adults of some species only live for a few days, while others can live for many months and hibernate over Winter.

Some moths have great ways of disguising them selves, from mimicking a twig, dead leaf or a wasp.
 

Angle Shades Moth.

A highly distinctive and unusual moth.

Looks very much like a withered Autumn leaf.

This species is a common migrant and can be found in any month in numbers at coastal locations.

More common in the South of England.

Main food plants are Dock, Nettles, chickweed and Brambles.

 

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Blood Vein Moth.

This attractive moth has a wing span between 23 and 28 mm., and is fairly common in the southern counties of England.

The adult rests with it's wings spread and the reddish cross lines of the front and back wings form a continuous band.

The fringes of the wings are also edged with pink.

It has two generations, from May to July and in August and September.

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Burnet Moth.

The six-spot Burnet moth is brightly coloured and is active during the day.

Has a 30 to 38mm wingspan. It's antennae, rather unusual for a moth, is club shaped.

Another unusual feature of this moth is, throughout it's life, it carries cyanide in their bodies. this moth only lives for a short time. Once they have mated and the female lays her eggs. they die. The adults drink nectar from plants.

The caterpillar feeds on Birds Foot trefoil, clover and Kidney Vetch.

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Cinnabar Moth.

Common and well distributed throughout the England and Wales.

Has a 35 to 45mm wingspan.

Habitat. Likes well-drained & grazed grass grassland, also occurs on heath land.

A day-flying and Night Flying Moth, brightly coloured and commonly mistaken as a Butterfly.

Adults drink nectar. Eggs are laid on the Common Ragwort and Groundsel.

Flies through the day and is easily spotted due to it's bright red and black colouring

 

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Clearwing Moth.

Locally distributed in the Southern half of Britain.

Has a 15 to 21mm wingspan.

The habitat for this species is chalk down land, quarries and sea cliffs.

This moths favourite food plants are bird's-foot-trefoil or Kidney Vetch.

The adults fly during the day.

 

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Deaths Head Hawk Moth.

The Death Head Hawk Moth is not a resident to the UK but is an immigrant. Usually fond in the South of England.

As the largest moth to appear in the UK, it has a 100 to 135 mm wingspan.

It is seldom seen unless in light traps.

Considered an omen of death due to the characteristic skull-like markings on the thorax of this moth.

The moths favoured food plants are Potato or Deadly Nightshade.  The moths cannot over winter in England.

 

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Devon Carpet Moth.

A relatively scarce species, found mainly in the South and South West of England.

Has a wingspan between 27 and 30 mm.

There are two generations, with adults on the wing in May and June, then again in August and September.

The caterpillars are brown with pale buff markings, and feed on common marsh bedstraw and fen bedstraw.

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Double Line Moth.

Distributed locally in South West and parts of South East England. Has a wingspan between 37 and 45 mm.

It frequents mature woodland habitats, and flies in June and July.

The lava feeds at night on grasses, especially cock's-foot, wood meadow grass and wood rush.

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Elephant Hawk Moth.

Common in most of Britain and has increased it's range in recent years. Most common in the South and West England.

Has up to a 60mm wingspan. Can be seen drinking nectar from the Honeysuckle. The caterpillars feed on Rosebay Willow herb and bedstraw. Can be seen in Gardens, Waste ground and Woodland clearings.

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Emperor Moth.

The name of this Moth is derived from the caterpillars resemblance to an elephants trunk.

Common and wide spread throughout Britain except the far north.

The Male flies rapidly during the day time looking for the rather sluggish Fe-male who only fly at night.

Has a wingspan between 45 and 60mm.

Like moor land and heath land.  Over winters as a pupa within a fibrous cocoon.

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Flame Moth.

Common and wide spread throughout Britain except the far north.

The adults rest with the wings wrapped around the body and closely resembles a broken twig.

Has a 27 to 36mm wingspan.

Inhabits woodland fringes, hedgerows and suburban Gardens.

Caterpillars feed at night on plants such as Dock and Bedstraw. They fly at night and are attracted to light.

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Garden Tiger Moth.

Common & wide spread throughout Britain. Numbers are on the decline.

Has a 28 to 37mm wingspan. Seen Regularly at Clawford.

Feeds on common nettles, docks and other garden plants.

Can be found in wetland areas, Gardens, open woodlands and sand dunes.

They fly late at night and are attracted to light.

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Grass Eggar Moth.

Common and wide spread throughout Britain. Has a 28 to 37mm wingspan.

Feeds on common nettles, docks and other garden plants.

Can be found in wetland areas, Gardens, open woodlands and sand dunes. They fly late at night and are attracted to light.

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Grey Arches Moth.

Reasonably common and wide spread throughout Britain. Has a 45 to 55 mm wingspan.

Occupying a mainly woodland habitat, the larvae feed in the Autumn on low herbaceous plants, then after hibernation in the Spring, on buds and leaves of trees such as Birch and Willow.

The adults merge in June & July and are attracted to light and to sugar.

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Hummingbird Hawk Moth.

An immigrant species which can sometimes occur in large numbers.

Appears in most habitats such as Parks, Gardens all over Britain but more common in Southern England.

We had a lot of these moths visiting us in 2006, seen drinking nectar from the Honeysuckle and Bud lea.

Has a 40 to 65mm wingspan. The caterpillars feed on bedstraw.

 

 

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Large Emerald Moth.

With a wing span of 40 to 50mm this is the largest of the Emeralds. common throughout most of Britain.

Inhabits woods, heaths and moors. Flies at night in June and July, when it is easily attracted to light.

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Light Brown Apple moth.

This was originally an Australian Species and was accidentally introduced into Cornwall in the 1930's and since then has spread quickly northwards, and is now regular in many parts and very common in some areas..

Wing Span is between 16 to 25 mm.

It flies in two generations between May and October.

 

 

 

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Lime Hawk-moth.

Found only in Southern England and Wales. Wing Span is between 70 to 80mm.

Adults do not feed but their caterpillars feed on lime tree leaves.

Typically, flies during the day and often comes to light.

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Marbled Brown Moth.

Common and wide spread throughout Britain. More common in Southern England. Has a 72 to 92mm wingspan.

Caterpillars feed on Oak Leaves. They are attracted to light.

 

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Mother Shipton Moth.

Reasonably common over much of the British Isles.

A day flying moth, preferring sunshine and taking short, rapid flights. Has a 25 to 30 mm wingspan.

Inhabits waste ground, down land and other open habitats.

Flies in May and June. The larvae feed on Clover & various grasses.

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Orange Moth.

Locally common in Woodland and Heath land southern England.

Has a 35 to 45mm wingspan.

Can be seen regularly at Clawford.

The twig-like caterpillars feed on a range of deciduous trees.

They are often attracted to light.

 

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Poplar Hawk-moth.

Common and wide spread throughout the UK. Has a 72 to 92mm wingspan. Can be seen regularly at Clawford.

Adults do not feed but their caterpillars feed on Poplars, sallows and Willows.

Typically, flies at night but can be found during the day resting on tree trunks or fences. They are often attracted to light.

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Phoenix moth.

Can be found in most parts of the British Isles but is not particularly common anywhere.  Has a 30 to 35 mm wingspan.

Adults feed mainly on the leaves of Black Current and Red Current.

Most often found in cultivated areas, such as gardens. The adults are on the wing in July and August.

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Privet Hawk-moth.

Distributed in the Southern half of the UK and is our largest resident Moth. Has a wingspan of up to 120mm.

Habitat. Woodlands and Gardens. Caterpillars feed on Privet, lilac and Ash. An incredibly strong flier.

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Puss Moth.

Named after it's cat like appearance. Fairly common throughout most of the UK.

Has a wingspan of between 65 and 80mm.

The rear legs of the caterpillar have developed into long, whip like appendages which it uses to flail around when in danger. As an extra line of defence it can spray formic acid from it's head.

The Puss Moth caterpillar over winters on tree trunks or wooden posts, inside a tough cocoon resembling a limpet shell.

 

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Scalloped Oak Moth.

Common and wide spread over a range of habitats. Has a 40 to 46mm wingspan.

Adults fly at night and can be attracted to light in large numbers.

This species over winters as an egg.

Food plants are Common Alder, Hazel, Honeysuckle, Willow, Rowan & Buckthorn.

 

 

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