Common Footman Arctiidae

Eilema lurideola (Zincken, 1817)

Description: Wingspan 31-38mm. Forewings leaden grey, with a yellow streak that runs from the basal area along the costal margin and tapering into a point, well before the apex of the forewing. Abdomen grey with an orange collar and yellow anal tuft. Hindwing pale ochreous yellow.

Similar Species: Scarce Footman, but distinguished by resting posture with wings held flat as opposed to tightly rolled around body. Also the yellow costal streak tapers to a point, whereas in Scarce Footman it is of uniform width.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: From the end of July and throughout August.

Status: Although its name would suggest that this species is common and widespread, it is in fact scarce and local, occurring mainly in east Down. There is also a somewhat dubious record for Rathlin Island that may have been mistaken for the closely related Scarce Footman E. complana, which has been recorded on more than one occasion on the Island. Well-known sites in Down include Castle Espie, Rostrevor Oakwood and the Bents on Carlingford Lough.

Ecology: A mainly coastal species, associated with woodland and coastal salt marshes in the east. Adults have been taken at light, but usually in N. Ireland only in ones and twos, apart from Rostrevor, where they have been recorded in larger numbers. The larvae feed on various species of lichens found on trees and fence posts. It overwinters as a larva.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe and Asia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2050 Agassiz number: 72.045

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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