Ghost Moth Hepialidae

Hepialus humuli (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 44-48mm. The wings of the male are white; the female which is larger has yellowish forewings with orange-coloured markings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside female upperside

Flight Period: Early June until the end of July.

Status: Widespread and fairly common in eastern counties especially Down and Armagh. Appears much more localised in the north and west.

Ecology: Frequently found in grassy embankments, fields and hillsides. The males can often be seen in flight in small numbers at dusk on warm evenings swaying up and down amongst tall grassy vegetation. Adults appear sparingly at light with females being more commonly encountered than males. The larva is subterranean and seldom seen. It feeds on the roots of grasses and other low-growing vegetation and takes two years to develop, over-wintering twice.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 0014 Agassiz number: 3.005

Additional information:

UK Moths account


 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland