Figure of Eight Notodontidae

Diloba caeruleocephala (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 34-40mm. Adults are dark grey-brown. The forewing has a white stigma which is shaped like the figure eight, from which the moth gets its name. There is also a chequered fringe and a dark tornal dash to the forewing. The hindwing is pale ochreous grey with a central discal mark.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Adults have only been recorded during October in N.Ireland.

Status: Widely distributed but rather local; the majority of recent records are from well-trapped sites such as Brackagh Moss NNR, Oxford Island NNR and Peatlands Park, Armagh. It is possibly under recorded in other parts of Armagh and Fermanagh.

Ecology: An autumnal species mainly associated with woodland clearings and old mature hedgerows. Adults are attracted to light but are never seen commonly, even at many of its well-known sites. The larvae have been found on Blackthorn Prunus spinosa and apple Malus spp. in N. Ireland; other known foodplants include Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna. May to July is the best time to look for larvae. It overwinters as an egg.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe as far east as Asia Minor.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2020 Agassiz number: 73.033

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=6106

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