Moths

Woodland moths can be highly camouflaged. Their colours and patterns blend in with tree bark and other woodland features to hide them from predators. Others can be highly colourful. Most moths fly at night, but a few like argent & sable are day-flying species.

Moths out in early spring include mint moth, barred tooth-striped, sloe carpet, orange upperwing and ruby tiger. Late spring brings false mocha and barberry carpet, which can be seen from May and again from August. They are joined by five-spot burnet, drab looper, speckled yellow and common fan-foot.

Summer woodland moths include goat moth (one of the heaviest British moths), argent & sable, scarce vapourer (the female is wingless) and lunar yellow underwing. As well as heart moth, olive crescent, light crimson underwing and concolorous.

Late summer brings species like dark crimson underwing, netted carpet and dark bordered beauty.

Five spot burnet moth

Five spot burnet moth can be found along open woodland rides and glades during the day when its warm and sunny. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Moths, along with butterflies, are are in the insect order Lepidoptera, which means 'scale' and 'wing' referring to the tiny scales that cover their wings.

Woodland moths can be highly camouflaged. Their colours and patterns blend in with tree bark and other woodland features to hide them from predators.

Lifecycle of moths

Moths start out as an egg laid by an adult female. The caterpillar (or larva) hatches out and is an eating machine with most species consuming leaves. During this time it grows and sheds its skin several times. It then creates a chrysalis (or pupa) around itself. It undergoes a complete metamorphosis into a winged butterfly. Some species have more than one generation in a year.

Others can be highly colourful. Most moths fly at night, but a few like argent & sable are day-flying species.

Early spring

Moths out in early spring include:

  • Mint moth
  • Barred tooth-striped
  • Sloe carpet
  • Orange upperwing
  • Ruby tiger

Late spring

 Late spring brings a number of new woodland moths, including:

  • False mocha
  • Barberry carpet
  • Five-spot burnet
  • Drab looper
  • Speckled yellow
  • Common fan-foot

Summer

Summer woodland moths include:

  • Goat moth (one of the heaviest British moths)
  • Argent & sable 
  • Scarce vapourer (the female is wingless)
  • Lunar yellow underwing
  • Heart moth
  • Olive crescent
  • Light crimson underwing
  • Concolorous

Late summer

Late summer brings species including:

  • Dark crimson underwing
  • Netted carpet
  • Dark bordered beauty

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