How to Navigate the Site

To find a species start at "Home". Click or tap on "Index" on the header and then either use the alphabetical index or choose "Thumbs" on the header.

All of the names whether vernacular or scientific are in the same index. If you were looking up Barred Red you would click or tap on 'B' under Macro-moths. If you wanted to look it up by its scientific name which is Hylaea fasciaria, you would click on 'H' under Macro-moths.

To aid the use of the index the vernacular names (common names) are coloured blue and the scientific names are green.

The "Thumbs" page uses thumbnail pictures to search out the moth. The process can be reversed by choosing "Home" or "Thumbs" to go back up through the taxonomic hierarchy.


The taxonomy follows the resident species and immigrants of the "Checklist of The Lepidoptera of the British Isles" (2014) and its updates. It does not included the species in the Appendix.


With a few exceptions the pictures were photographed for this website. Although many are identified as female this does not signify any sexual dimorphism (although for some this is the case), but that it was noticed that the specimen was a female when photographed.

Where comparison pictures are shown, the current species is always top left in the set of pictures. The original aim of the site was to photograph all of the resident larger moths, so where needed there are comparisons for most of them.

Due to the large amount of micro-moths found during our search it was decided to expand the site to include them, but so far the number of these smaller species photographed is not enough to include comparisons for many of them. Where they have yet to be photographed there is still a full account including a distribution map and a phenology table.

Distribution Maps

The macro-moth maps are Vice County maps based on the dot maps in Butterfly Conservation's "Atlas of Britain and Irelands Larger Moths" (2018) which gives an accuracy of post 2000.

For new to Britain and Ireland species and immigrant moths a post 2010 layer has been added.

Although every effort has been made I can take no responsibility for the accuracy of any Vice Counties that have been filled on the maps as it was often difficult to assess which side of the border a moth had been recorded.

The micro-moth maps are also Vice County maps, but based on the micro-moth maps that can be downloaded from Butterfly Conservation's website. These were then overlaid with the VC data from the annual "Micro-moth Reviews" published in the "Entomologist's Record". These run from 1982 until the review of 2022.

The Micro-moth Reviews are mainly about adding extensions to the known range of each moth, therefore if looked at casually the recently filled areas of the maps give the impression that the moths have only been recorded recently at the edge of their range. This is not the case.

The whole of the filled areas of these maps should be taken as the moths possible range, although it is likely that many of the rarer species will no longer be present in some of those Vice Counties.

Until Butterfly Conservation can publish an "Atlas of Britain and Irelands Smaller Moths" then the true distribution of micro-moths will remain unknown.

*Please note that VC1 Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has been split on the maps because many migrants are recorded on the islands that do not make it to the mainland and there are species that have increased their distribution along the south coast of England that have not been recorded on the islands.

Phenology Tables

These tables are based on the data from Butterfly Conservations "Atlas of Britain and Irelands Larger Moths", plus the flight and larva data from ten county websites for the micro-moths.

The macro-moth data is an average of the flight data for the whole of Britain and Ireland whereas the micro-moths is an average of the data of mainly southern England based websites as little flight data is available via websites for the north of Britain at this time.

This has to be allowed for when when using the phenology data. Where there is known data showing a different flight period in the north I have added an extra table to show this.

Otherwise it can be expected that northern England, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland moths will peak up to a week later than the tables show and possibly not have a second brood, while moths in the far north of Scotland could peak between ten days to a fortnight later.

The ova period is based on a minimum time that there are likely to be eggs as there is little data available except for captive bred moths. The actual period is likely to be longer than that shown in most cases.

The larval period records of leaf mining species on many websites may appear to be longer than those shown, but in the tables there has been an allowance for the fact that records may be of species that pupate in the mine and also of vacated mine records.

Pupal periods run until adult moth numbers reach their peak. The exception is in the case of species where the adult is known to aestivate where they may not reach peak numbers until they wake.