Mother Of Pearl - Patania ruralis

Alternative names
Pleuroptya ruralis

Wingspan 26-40 mm. One of the largest of Britain's so-called 'micro-moths'; in fact it is larger than many of the 'macro-moths', though this division is largely artificial. The moth rests with all four wings on display, which show a colourful rainbow-like lustre in certain lighting conditions, as the English name suggests.

Identification difficulty

Rural gardens, waste ground and rough pastures often around Nettle beds.

When to see it

July and August. The adults fly from dusk onwards and are often attracted to light.

Life History

The larvae feed on Nettle, in a rolled-up leaf.

UK Status

Common throughout most of Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

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

63.038 BF1405

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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