Large Emerald (Geometra papilionaria)

Common June to August and are night flying. The caterpillars feed on the leaves of various species of birch, alder and hazel

Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda)

Distinctive caterpillars. They feed on a wide range of trees and shrubs and can be a pest of hop plants

Magpie Moth

The adult Magpie Moth is a real beauty with its black and gold markings on thin, almost see-through, white wings. Once common, it is now less so. Its caterpillars aren't such a welcome sight. Its these that eat the leaves of Gooseberries and Red Currants.

The Vapourer

Aug 2011: We spotted this alien-looking creature on a Helenium leaf today. Its the caterpillar of The Vapourer moth. These can be destructive pests on fruit trees and shrubs, but fortunately this was the only one we spotted.  The adults males have a fluttering display flight and that's where the name comes from - a Vapourer was a show off. The adult females are flightless and attract males with scent.

Elephant Hawk Moth

Aug: After spotting an adult Elephant Hawk Moth in July I was really pleased to see this wonderful beastie today - the caterpillar of the same moth. Its about 3 1/2 in long and it can withdraw its head into its body making it look even more elephant-like. These caterpillars mainly feed on Rosebay Willow Herb - hurray!

Really pleased to see this incredibly coloured Elephant Hawk-Moth resting on one of garden benches this morning. To give you an idea of scale the moth is about 1 1/4" from nose to tail.

Hummingbird Hawk Moth

Hummingbird Hawk Moths could teach the RAF a thing or two about in-flight refueling as they hover in front of a flower (in this case Nepeta Amelia) and extend their long tongues into the tube of the flower to suck up the nectar. 

6 Spot Burnet Moth

The tall, candelabra spires of Veronicastrum make an architectural statement in our borders about now. Lavender Spire ("Lavendel Turm") in these photos is one of my favourites. It's usually studded with bees but today we saw this 6 Spot Burnet Moth. This is a day flying moth who's caterpillars feed on bird's foot trifoil.


Spotted this Silver-Y Moth which often fly by day.

Ghost Swift

An unwelcome guest in the garden is a female Ghost Swift Moth (or simply Ghost Moth according to some books). She can lay 50,000 eggs and the resulting caterpillars eat the roots and underground stems of plants over the winter (including Heleniums) leaving a dead patch behind them in spring.

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