Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Scientific name: Phalera bucephala


Late May to July. Widespread and frequent throughout Britain, although more local in Scotland. An unmistakable moth which closely resembles a twig from a Silver Birch when at rest.

When at rest, the wings are held almost vertically against the body with two buff areas at the front of the thorax and at the tips of the forewings which look very like the pale wood of the birch. The rest of the wings are the same mottled grey colour of the birch bark.


Occasionally the adults can be found resting in the day on a twig or the ground. They fly at night and comes to light, usually after midnight.


The yellow and black caterpillars can be seen from July to early October before they overwinter as pupae under the ground.

What does the Buff-Tip eat?

The Buff-Tip eats deciduous trees; most frequently on sallows, birches, oaks and Hazel (Corylus avellana) but also Alder (Alnus glutinosa), limes, elms, Beech (Fagus sylvatica), Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia), Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus) and Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), preferring those in sunny locations.

What habitat does the Buff-Tip live in?

The Buff-Tip can be found in a range of habitats including open woodland, scrub, hedgerows and gardens.

What family does the Buff-tip belong to?

The Buff-Tip belong to the Notodontidae family.

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Scientific Name

Phalera bucephala


England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland


Large Sized

Wingspan Range: 44-68mm


Well distributed and frequent throughout England, Wales

Other Wildlife