Purple Thorn - Selenia tetralunaria


Wingspan 30-38 mm. The silvery crescent on purplish brown forewing is larger than on Lunar Thorn and it has a dark central spot towards outer edge of hindwing upperside. The late summer moths are paler.

Identification difficulty

Occupying woodland, heathland and other bushy areas.

When to see it

Where there are two broods they fly in April and May, then in July and August. Where there is only one generation, the moths are out in May.

Life History

Like the Early Thorn this species produces two generations except in the northern extreme of its range, where there is only a May generation.

UK Status

This species is fairly common in southern England and Wales, becoming scarcer northwards into southern Scotland. There are only a handful of records from Ireland. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

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

70.239 BF1919

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map