Buff Footman - Eilema depressa


Wingspan 28 to 36 mm. The male forewing is greyish white with a faint yellow stripe along the basal third of the leading edge. There is an orange yellow fringe on both wings. In the slightly larger female the forewing is usually brownish grey with a distinct orange stripe along the leading edge and the hindwing is grey. There is also an orange yellow form (f. Unicolor). There are a number of similar species in this genus.

Similar Species

Common Footman, Dingy Footman, Scarce Footman and Buff Footman are all similar but can be distinguished by shape and colour - see Identification Aids below.

Identification difficulty
Identification aids
Footman Moths

From left to right: Common Footman, Scarce Footman, Dingy Footman, Buff Footman.

Of these Common Footman is by far the commonest, and the Buff Footman probably the most scarce. The Dingy Footman shows a wide 'melonseed' shape, so stands out versus Common Footman. Even for a Dingy Footman in the yellower colour form, the shape should help separate from Buff Footman. On the Buff Footman, there is a distinct 'crease' coming from the thorax down the center of the basal part of the forewing, and in the resting posture the back end always looks 'squarer' than on the Common Footman. The Scarce Footman pretty much speaks for itself with its tightly wrapped resting posture.

Credit: Mark Skevington


Occupying woodland, scrubland and chalky downland.

When to see it

It flies in July and August, and can be found resting by day among the branches of various trees and bushes.

Life History

The larvae feed on lichens and algae growing on trees, especially yew.

UK Status

This species is locally common in the south of England and Wales, and south-west Ireland. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Occasional in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = C (very scarce resident or rare migrant).

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map