Lepidoptera The Common Heath Moth – Ematurga Atomaria

Of this family we shall select two examples, the first of which is the Common Heath, often so abundant on heaths and downs that they are disturbed at almost every footstep.

The Common Heath Moths Fig. 189.-The Common Heath.

The ground colour of the wings of the male is a dull yellowish grey, and that of the female greyish white. In both cases the wings are crossed by irregular dark brown bands. The fringe is barred alternately with white and dark brown, and the whole of the ground tint between the above-mentioned bands is thickly dotted with dark brown. The female is generally smaller than the male.

The caterpillar is very variable in colour, but is generally reddish brown, ochreous brown, or greenish, with a light line along the spiracles, and a series of lozenge-shaped spots on the back. It feeds on trefoils (Lotus corniculatus and L. pilosus) and various other plants that grow on heaths.