The Shark - Cucullia umbratica

Alternative names
Shark Moth

Wingspan 42 to 52 mm. Similar to Chamomile Shark (C. chamomillae) but one distinguishing feature from that species is the fringe of the hindwing, which in the present species has two bands, one pale and one grey, whereas in C. chamomillae, there is a triple-banded effect. The flight period is also a useful guide.

Identification difficulty

Various habitats, especially in the vicinity of the larval foodplant.

When to see it

Flying later in the season than the similar Chamomile Shark (C. chamomillae), it is on the wing in June and July.

Life History

The larval foodplants are mainly species of sow-thistle.

UK Status

Inhabiting a range of open habitats and suburban areas, this species is quite well distributed over much of Britain, though it is less common in Scotland. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent but not common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = B (scarce resident or restricted distribution or regular 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