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)

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map