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Brimstone Moth

Opisthograptis luteolata

Brimstone Moth

A close up picture of a Brimstone moth Opisthograptis luteolata against a white background

Opisthograptis.luteolata.7490

by Olaf Leillinger. CC BY-SA 2.5

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Opisthograptis luteolata is a vibrant, pretty night-flying moth that's a typical garden visitor. They also do well in woodland, scrub and grassland habitats. The wings are substantially triangular, a characteristic of the Geometrid moth family. You can tell them apart from other yellow moths from the white spot with a brown outline located on the forewings. They can be attracted to light, so they may well end up in your moth trap or might be seen flying near garden lights from April, all the way through to October!
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Traits

A tasty treat for other garden wildlife.
May be a pest of Rowan, Hawthorn and Blackthorn.

Appearance

Adults: Mature moths a medium-sized and vibrant yellow! The bodies are yellow and possess some yellow fuzz on the thorax. The wings are also a vibrant yellow with brown, triangular-shaped markings on the wing apex. There is also an additional white marking with a brown outline, roughly halfway down the outer margin of the forewing. Wing spans are roughly 3-4cm. Caterpillar: Extremely twig-like, these caterpillars are masters of disguise in the garden. Their primary colour and pattern are highly dependent on the food plant they've been eating. Pupae: Solid grey-brown structures, they can be attached beneath foodplant foliage, within debris and leaf litter or cracks of walls. They're typically encased in a silken-thread structure. Eggs: Currently unavailable, but probably laid on the food plant.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Geometridae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Widespread across the UK and some parts of Europe.

Biological treatment

Moths play an important role in the environment. Unfortunately, the larvae, or caterpillars, can sometimes be pests in years where conditions are optimum for their breeding. If in high abundance, caterpillars may be picked off garden plants using gloves and placed someplace else.

Chemical treatment

Please consider if chemical control is essential. It's not recommended to use chemical treatments on larger plants.

Attracts

The caterpillars enjoy the foliage of plants in the rose family, including hawthorn, blackthorn and rowan.
A Prunus spinosa plant with green leaves and black purple berry fruits

Blackthorn

Prunus spinosa

Hawthorn

Crataegus spp.

Rowan Tree

Sorbus spp.

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Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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