Morley's Final Catalogue: This splendid noctuid, expanding 100 mm. i.e. nearly four inches, is regarded as indigenous. At least a round dozen examples have been captured in Suffolk during the past century. The first appeared 'near Lowestoft in September 1828 to G. Waterhouse' (Stph. Illust. iii, 1830, 132). Two were met with at Clare, and one at Whixoe near that town, in 1868 (E.A. Fitch), a remarkable season wherein a fifth was taken on sugar at Aldeburgh on 21 August (Wrt, Suf. Inst. 4ly Journ., Jan. 1869, 23; Proc. iv, 1870, 220), along with an undated sixth that year (Hele, Aldeb. 190), in the course of which Balding found a seventh (EMM. v. 128) and Miller eighth both in August at Ipswich, as well as two more there in 1872 - Miller's records from Bramford and Lowestoft (Lep. Suff. 1890, 25) are erroneous, teste Bloomfield. Not till 1901 occurred our eleventh specimen, sitting upon a house called Stronsay at Kirkley Cliff in Lowestoft (EMM. 1904, 256: two specimens exist in Dr. Hutchinson's Lowestoft collection). A perfect specimen came to sugar in the grounds of Benacre Hall on 24 August 1901 (J.F. Green, Ent. Rec. 1901, 306; cf. his paper on 'Mothing in Suffolk,' Knowledge 1901, pp. 231-1); and South gives one in 1905.
Recent Suffolk status: Numbers of records increasing every year from about 2018 onwards and rapidly becoming a common species in the county. Breeding proven in 2021 with the discovery of a larva at Aldringham cum Thorpe in July.
Life history: Single-brooded in one long extended generation. Moths are known to live for quite a few weeks.
Identification: The largest Catocala species. Unmistakeable if the hindwings are exposed. Moths found at rest high up on walls where the hindwings cannot be checked need closer scrutiny. Greyish colouration and pale spot in centre of forewing are distinctive.
Habitat: Woodland, wet woodland, parks, gardens.
Verification Grade Comment: Records of moths in traps will be accepted without photo. Moths seen by day at rest on walls not showing hindwings will need a photograph for the record to be accepted.
Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.
Recorded in 40 (69%) of 58 10k Squares. First Recorded in 1828. Last Recorded in 2023. Additional Stats