Lepidoptera The Buff Tip Moth – Phalera Bucephala

The first of our two examples of this small family is the common and destructive Buff Tip. The perfect insect is represented on Moth PhotosPlate X, fig. 9, and is too well known to require a lengthy description. During June and July it may be seen resting on the bark of trees almost everywhere, with its wings folded closely round its body, and its antenna tucked under the wings, looking just like a piece of stick, or a projection of the bark on which it sits.

The Larva of Bucephala Moth Fig. 134.-The Larva of Bucephala Moth.

The caterpillars appear towards the end of June, and may be seen in dense clusters on lime and other trees, sometimes twenty or thirty huddled together on a single leaf. As they grow larger they retain their gregarious tendencies, and often completely strip the leaves from large branches. They are of a dull yellow colour, hairy, and have seven broken black lines, one along the middle of the back, and three on each side. The head and legs are black.

When full grown, they descend to the root of the tree, burrow into the soil, and there remain in the chrysalis state till the following June. The chief food plants of this species are the lime (Tilia vulgaris), elm (Ulmus campestris), and hazel (Corylus Avellana).