Winter Moth - Operophtera brumata


Wingspan 22-28 mm. The males are drab light to dark brown with a darker central forewing band (although this is sometimes indistinct) and a brownish hindwing. The females are virtually wingless.

Identification difficulty

Often seen near car headlights, especially if close to trees and bushes.

When to see it

From late autumn through to January or February.

Life History

The virtually wingless females crawl up tree-trunks to await the arrival of males. The larvae feed on a range of trees and shrubs, as well as moorland species such as Heather. Sometimes the larvae occur in great numbers, reaching pest status and occasionally completely defoliating small trees.

UK Status

A common species in most of Britain. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

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

70.106 BF1799

Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map