70.109 (1797) Autumnal Moth Epirrita autumnata (Borkhausen, 1794)

Status
Resident. Common.
 
Flight period
J F M A M J J A S O N D
























 
History
Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn and Tynron (VC72) but these should be treated with caution due to the difficulty of identification.
 
From 1975-90 it was recorded regularly at the Rothamsted stations. Since then, in the period 1990-2010 not many have been recorded at all for the above reasons.
 
It is one of the last of the Epirrita moths to emerge, peaking around mid-October.
 
Life cycle
One generation. It overwinters as an egg on bark or a twig. Larvae during May and June, with pupation underground.
 
Larval foodplants
Birch and Alder, also Heather.
 
Identification
The four Epirrita moths are notoriously difficult to separate, but this one can be identified by the discal spot (which is a round dot or an oval) which is small and distinct and well clear of the fascia, but sometimes it is almost touching. The post-median fascia near the discal spot is sharply angled at about 90 degrees.
 
Only the males can be separated by checking the genitalia, the female Autumnal Moth and Small Autumnal Moth are inseparable. But larvae could be collected and bred on.
 
Habitat
Woodland and scattered trees. Autumnal Moth loves birch especially in small clumps on moorland or heathland. It usually has a silvery-grey ground colour to blend in when resting on the birch bark.
© Gavin Chambers, Minnigaff, 7 November 2011

Local distribution map

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Distribution map displays records from the National Biodiversity Network (See terms and conditions).

The following datasets are included:

  • Butterfly Conservation - Macro-moth provisional distribution for the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) from the National Moth Recording Scheme
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