Fig 1

ADULT: Wingspan up to 40mm.  What appears at first to be a dull grey to brown moth is nothing of the sort when viewed closely.  The brown to lead colored wing usually has a reddish tinge and is seen to sport a lower subterminal crossline that is half ginger and half creamy white.  The kidney mark is pale edged with a black lower splodge.  The hindwings are dark fuscous with an occasional small discal spot and a pale buff fringe. LARVA: The larva has an unmarked yellowy-orange head with a speckled pale brown to greyish body. Dorsal and subdorsal lines are white and the prothoracic place is dark brown to black. Foodplants include Salix catkins when the larva is young.  When more mature the larva tends to feed on leaves. BEHAVIOUR: The eggs overwinter and hatch the following spring. The young caterpillars feed at night and hide away in leaf rolls during the day.  Adults are attracted to light. HABITAT: Open heathland, woodland, gardens and damp areas. FLIGHT PERIOD: September and October. STATUS: Common in southern Britain becoming more local further north.

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