Alder Moth - Acronicta alni

    Description

    Wingspan 33 to 38 mm. This subtly-marked species varies less than some of its congeners, but melanic forms do occur in places.

    Identification difficulty
    Habitat

    Damper areas around Alder and wooded areas containing Birch.

    When to see it

    The adults appear in May and June and are attracted to mercury vapour light. Prior to the use of this trapping method, the species was considered quite rare, as it seldom comes to sugar or flowers.

    Life History

    The larva when young resembles a bird dropping, but when mature is highly distinctive, being black and yellow with a number of club-like hairs. It feeds on a number of different trees, particularly Alder and Birch.

    UK Status

    Thinly scattered over most of England and Wales. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as local.

    VC55 Status

    Fairly frequent but not common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = B (scarce resident or restricted distribution or regular migrant).

    Reference
    73.036 BF2281

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map