Alder Moth

Acronicta alni (Linnaeus, 1767)

One of the daggers, the Alder Moth is a grey moth with charcoal black colouring across the forewings. These are variable in their extent, with some individuals noticeably darker than others. The oval and kidney marks are typically pale grey or white, but can be variable, with some individuals having dark grey markings here. The larvae of the Alder Moth is the more showy of the stages, being a black caterpillar with alternating segments of bright yellow. Protuding from the yellow-coloured segments, a long black bristles. The earlier instars resemble bird droppings.

Identification

One of the daggers, the Alder Moth is a grey moth with charcoal black colouring across the forewings. These are variable in their extent, with some individuals noticeably darker than others. The oval and kidney marks are typically pale grey or white, but can be variable, with some individuals having dark grey markings here. The larvae of the Alder Moth is the more showy of the stages, being a black caterpillar with alternating segments of bright yellow. Protuding from the yellow-coloured segments, a long black bristles. The earlier instars resemble bird droppings.

ORDER

Lepidoptera

FAMILY

Noctuidae

TYPE

Moths

Widespread but local in England and Wales. Rare in Scotland. In Dorset and Somerset this species is widespread and locally common. At Wyke Farm the Alder Moth is regularly attracted to light, and likely breeding here.

The Alder Moth can be found in broad-leaved woodlands and scrubs, and is particularly common in wooded river valleys.

The larvae feed on the leaves of a range of woody plants, including Alder, oaks, elms, willows and birches.

The adults fly between May and July, peaking in late-May/early June, and can be attracted to light.

The larvae can be found between June and August, and can be found on the foodplant, resting on the upperside of leaves.

MONTHS - SEASONALITY
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
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Aug
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Dec
LATIN NAME

Acronicta alni

Size (MM)

Wingspan 33-38 mm

iucn Status
lc

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