Buff Ermine - Spilosoma lutea

Alternative names
Spilosoma luteum

Wingspan 28-40 mm. The variation in the extent of black in the wings has been exaggerated by captive interbreeding, but does not occur as much in the wild.

Identification difficulty

Wide range of habitats, including gardens, hedgerows, parkland and woodland.

When to see it

On the wing from May to July, it frequently visits artificial light.

Life History

The dark brown caterpillar is covered with reddish-orange hairs, and feeds in Autumn on herbaceous plants, bushes and trees.

UK Status

A common resident in most of Britain.

VC55 Status

Common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = A (common and resident)

72.019 BF2061

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map