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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!

24 June, 2016

Camptogramma bilineata: the yellow shell moth

Over the years I have frequently flushed smallish yellow/orange coloured moths from long grass and and bushes as I wander around looking for wildlife and although I have tried to follow them they always seem to vanish without trace. Then, eventually, on a coldish day when the moth was a bit sluggish I eventually succeeded  in tracking one down to get a photograph. Armed with this I was able to identify it as a yellow shell moth (Camptogramma bilineata). 
The yellow shell is a bit unusual in that it over winters as a caterpillar, from August when it hatches until the following May when it pupates it feeds on members of the bedstraw family of flowers, especially cleavers which is very common. They remain as pupae for a short time before emerging in late May and fly until August when, after breeding, they are gone until the next brood hatch the following year.
Common on grassland, in hedgerows and in gardens everywhere at low levels it can be frequently found but it can take some years until you can find one to specially identify!
Camptogramma bilineata: the yellow shell moth