Emperor Moth - Saturnia pavonia


Wingspan 40 to 60 mm. The spectacular Emperor Moth is Britain's only resident member of the Saturniidae family. The males, which have bright orange hindwings, fly during the daytime in search of the greyer females, which fly at night.

Identification difficulty

Hedgerows, thorn scrub, downland and open woodland.

When to see it

Both sexes are on the wing in April and May. Males flying by day and females at night.

Life History

The fully grown caterpillar is green with black hoops containing yellow wart-like spots, and feeds on moorland plants such as Heather and Bramble.

UK Status

It is reasonably common over much of Britain, occupying moorland and open country. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

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