Common Quaker Noctuidae

Orthosia cerasi (Fabricius, 1775)

Description: Wingspan 34-40 mm. Adults are variable in colour. The forewings vary from greyish brown through to reddish brown with many intermediate forms. The stigmata are conspicuous and finely edged with pale yellowish white line. The subterminal line is fairly straight and curved inwards slightly near the costa. Hindwings are fuscous but may be lighter in some other colour forms.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-February to mid-May.

Status: Common and widely distributed in all counties including Rathlin Island.

Ecology: A species associated mainly with woodland habitats. Adults are frequently seen at light and will also visit willow Salix spp. catkins and Blackthorn Prunus spinosa blossom. The larvae feed during May and June on oak Quercus spp., willow Salix spp. and possibly other trees.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe as far north as Finland.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2187 Agassiz number: 73.244

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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