ADULT: Wingspan 35-30mm. Also known as The Rusty Tussock Moth, this is a sexually dimporphic species with males having rich orange brown wings with an obvious white spot at the trailing edge. The antennae are pectinate and are used to detect pheromones given off by the females. When at rest the front furry legs are notable as they are pushed outward from the front of the body. Females are of a light-grey brown in colour and have greatly reduced wings making flight impossible. LARVA: A striking creature with a blue-grey-black body adorned with a series of red spots along each flank, 4 creamy yellow tufts of hair on the back and a black tuft of hair projecting from the rear end. They feed on various plants and trees including Birch, Lime, Hazel and Cotoneaster. CHRYSALIS: Found on foodplant and after the female has emerged it is used as an egg laying vessel with all eggs overwintering and hatching the following May. BEHAVIOUR: A day flying moth only seen in low numbers. They are sometimes attracted to light. HABITAT: Gardens, parks, open woodland, fens, hedgerows, heathland and moorland. FLIGHT PERIOD: July to September, sometimes early October. STATUS: Resident and frequent throughout, especially in urban settings.
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