Copper Underwing Noctuidae

Amphipyra pyramidea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 47-54 mm. Forewings are dark brown with straw-coloured crosslines. The antemedian and post median lines are pale straw - the latter being more conspicuous. The subterminal line is reduced to a series of small pale-coloured dots. Stigmata similar to ground colour surrounded by a fine pale line. Hindwings copper coloured with darker veining.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Early August to the end of September.

Status: Widespread across southern counties especially in Down and Armagh where the majority of recent records come. In Fermanagh it has been recorded recently from several sites beside the Erne. North of Lough Neagh it is rare and reported only from the Umbra, Londonderry.

Ecology: A large distinctive species occurring mainly in woodland and old estates. Adults are occasional visitors to light, but are readily attracted to flowers, sugar and overripe blackberries. They conceal themselves by day in old hollow trees and the darker corners of derelict sheds and outhouses. The larvae feed during April and May on oak Quercus spp., Bramble Rubus fruticosus, Ash Fraxinus excelsior, Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum and Wild Privet Ligustrum vulgare. It overwinters as an egg.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe from Portugal to southern Fenoscandia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2297 Agassiz number: 73.062

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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