The November Moth

The insect of the month has to be the November Moth, Epirrita dilutata. This moth is widespread in the UK and, although it gets its common name from its appearance in November, you can spot adults flying throughout the autumn in woods, hedgerows, parks and gardens.

The wingspan is 38-44mm with a dark wavy pattern against a lighter background. It’s easy to easy to mix this moth up with two similar species, the pale November moth E. christyi and the Autumnal Moth E. autumnata, both of which look similar. To make things even more confusing, all three species also have darker forms!

The caterpillar can be found in the spring and summer months feeding on a range of deciduous trees and shrubs. It is one of the ‘inch worms’ or ‘loopers’ that move by stretching out, then bringing their rear end forward to meet the front, forming a loop. They the stretch their front end out again and repeat the process. They are about an inch (2.5cm) long so it looks as if they are measuring as they move along.

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