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moth Lobster Moths

Identify It >   Moth Section >   Lobster Moths >

Scientific name:  Stauropus fagi

Size:  Wingspan up to 65mm

Distribution:  Not common.  Mostly found in the southern half of the UK.

Months seen:  May to July

Life span:  Adult moths can live for up to 6 weeks

Habitat:  Woodlands

Food:  The larvae feed on oak, beech, birch and hazel

Special features:  Lobster Moths (sometimes called Lobster Prominents) are mainly greyish-brown in colour with a rust coloured patch along the trailing edges of the forewings.  At rest the hindwings stick out below the leading edge of the forewings.  The whole appearance looks similar to a bunch of dead leaves.

The long-legged caterpillars which appear between July and September give this moth its name.  When fully grown they can have a reddish-brown appearance and the whole body is covered in small dimples.  They have a head like an alien and an enlarged anal segment with two stick-like brown coloured claspers.  It also has thorn-like bumps on four of the mid-body sections.  As if it wasn't weird enough to look at, when disturbed the caterpillar folds the swollen rear section over the rest of its body, and it waves its long legs in the air.


2005 - Norfolk Broads - Dean Stables (photo)
2015 - Poulton Wood, Kent - Dave Down (photo)

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