Lepidoptera The Mottled Umber Moth – Hybernia Defoliaria

This very pretty moth is represented in fig. 8 of Moth PicturesPlate XII. It is very common in most parts, and visits us at the fall of the leaf, generally appearing in October, and remaining on the wing till November. Our illustration gives the usual appearance of the male, but in some specimens the four wings are all of one uniform reddish-brown colour, evenly dotted all over with a darker tint. The female is quite wingless.

The caterpillar is exceedingly pretty. Its head is large and brown. The back is brown, bordered with a fine black line. Below this is a broad and bright yellow line, with a red spot on each segment. The spiracles are white. It feeds during spring on oak (Quercus Robur), whitethorn (Cratagus oxyacantha), blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), and other trees. When disturbed it always allows itself to fall for a foot or two, and then remains swinging at the end of a silken fibre till danger is over, or hunger recalls it to its food. It changes to a chrysalis on the ground about the middle of June.