Buff Tip Moth (Phalera bucephala)
The buff tip moth is a member of the prominent moths family. Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus first described it in the10th edition of Systema Naturae published in 1758.
Description and Identification
The larvae are yellow and black, initially more social but becoming solitary as they become older. Initially the larvae appear pale, turning to a striking black coloration marked with yellow, and white lines.
The immature ones are social, while they become more matured in their adult stage.
Once mature, the larva leaves their host plants and overwinter as a pupa.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.
Color and Appearance
Forewings: When the wings are opened, they are gray with a buff patch at the edge. This makes them look like a broken twig. When the wings are closed, the color and pattern is the same, and their similarity with a twig gets even more prominent.
Hindwings: When the wings are opened, they are creamy-white. When the wings are closed, they are completely hidden.
Average wingspan: 55–68 mm
Flight pattern: Erratic
Season: June – July
The eggs are completely white with a hollow notch in them.
|Distribution||Europe, Asia up to eastern Siberia|
|Habitat||Gardens, hedgerows, scrub, and open woodlands|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Mainly birch, hazel, oak, and sallow; also seen near alder, beech, elm, hornbeam, lime, rowan, and sycamore plants|
|Adult Diet||Not recorded|
Did You Know
- These moths have two sub-species – P. b. bucephala and P. b. tenebrata.