Electric! – the Buff Arches moth

This is one of several spectacular and intricately (some would say bizarrely) patterned moths found in the UK, the Buff Arches (Habrosyne pyritoides). The distribution of this species extends north to roughly between Newcastle upon Tyne and Carlisle. Again, this species was found at Whiteknights, via the Rothamsted trap thats was on site from 1976-1977.

Image 1 Buff Arches © Justin Groves The University of Reading

Image 1 Buff Arches © Justin Groves The University of Reading

The species mainly feeds on Brambles (Rubus sp.) with an easily identifiable caterpillar, which is a dark orange with 4 cream dots. Both caterpillars and adults are found in open woodland-scrub and gardens where the food plants grow well. The adults can be found from July to August and are attracted to light and sugar solutions. The adult is quite spectacular, it has silver grey colours near the base of the forewing followed by a white line then a deep orange colouration, with a large orange zigzag near the wing edge just before the colour changes back to silvery grey with a white line see image 1.

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About Justin Anthony Groves

As a student of Ecology and Conservation at Reading University i am very interested many other insect groups, botany and the interaction in nature. Over a number of blogs I hope to pass my knowledge to others but also gain from the many other interesting posts.
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