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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

15 April, 2016

Abraxus grossulariata: the magpie moth

Although the magpie moth (Abraxus grossulariata) flies mainly at night it can often be seen by day. It is easily disturbed from shrubbery and vegetation and because of its magnificent, conspicuous black and white colouring it does tend to stand out somewhat. It is also quite big and you could be forgiven for mistaking it for a butterfly at first.
It is, then, a common species, attracted to light and quite easily identified. Flying in July and August the magpie moth is often found in gardens, especially if there are fruit bushes present, but you will also find it in woodlands, in hedgerows, on commons and even on grassland.
The larvae appear on fruit bushes and hedgerow shrubs in September and they over winter as larvae before pupating in the spring and emerging in July.
Abraxus grossulariata: the magpie moth