Small Mottled Willow - Spodoptera exigua


Wingspan 26 to 32 mm. It can resemble some other species, but holds its wings rolled around the body when at rest.

Identification difficulty

Various habitats.

When to see it

Arrivals have been noted in most months from February to November, but the peak arrival period is from August to October.

Life History

The caterpillars feed on a number of low plants, but are not often found in Britain.

UK Status

An immigrant species, occurring mainly in the southern parts of England and Wales, but also found northwards to parts of Scotland. In good years, several hundred may occur. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as a migrant.

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