Lepidoptera The Herald Moth – Gonoptera Libatrix

The above-mentioned family is so called on account of the angular margins of the wings, especially the fore pair. It contains only one British species, the Herald (Moth PicturesPlate XII, fig. 1), a moth that is common everywhere in August and September. It hybernates in the perfect state, and the hybernated specimens may be seen in the spring time, from March up to the end of May or the beginning of June.

Its fore wings are reddish grey, thickly spotted and streaked with brown. Transverse whitish lines divide the base into three parts of nearly equal widths. The basal and central divisions are tinged with orange; and there is a small white spot in the base close to the thorax, also another near the centre of the wing. The hind wings are brownish grey.

The caterpillar is green and velvety, with a whitish stripe on the side, and yellow spiracles. It feeds on willow (Salix alba) and sallow (Salix caprea); and when full grown, about the end of June, it spins a white silken cocoon between leaves of its tree, and changes to a very dark chrysalis.