Identify It > Moth Section > Swallow-tailed Moths >
Scientific name: Ourapteryx sambucaria
Size: Wingspan up to 60mm
Distribution: Found throughout most of England, Wales, Northern Ireland and southern Scotland
Months seen: Adult moths fly in June to August
Habitat: Gardens, hedgerows, open woodland and wasteground
Food: Caterpillars feed on ivy, honeysuckle and hawthorn
Special features: Swallow-tailed moths get their name from the tail-like projections on the hind wings, called 'termen', which resemble the tail extensions of the birds of the same name.
Swallow-tailed moths are a creamy-white colour with some darker streaks running diagonally through the wings. There are two dark spots on each hind wing at the base of the tail extensions.
The twig-like caterpillars feed at night and remain motionless during the day. They can be found between August and June.
Swallow-tailed moths fly at night and are easily attracted to lights.