Common Footman - Eilema lurideola

Description

Wingspan 28-35 mm. The forewings are greenish-grey, with a leading yellow stripe, tapering to a point at the tip. The wings are folded flat over the back when at rest. In flight, the yellow hindwings are noticeable, and it looks a much larger moth.

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

Habitat

Wherever there are lichens, in gardens, farmland, marshes and woodland.

When to see it

It is on the wing in July and August and frequently comes to light.

Life History

The larvae feed on various lichens.

UK Status

A widespread species in most of Britain, except in Scotland where it is local. Quite common in the south of its range. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

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

Reference
72.045 BF2050

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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