British Wildlife Wiki

The Buff Ermine (Spilosoma luteum) is a moth in the Arctiidae family.


This medium sized moth is a distinctive buff yellow colour, with a variable degree of black markings, but usually, from few to thick bands. Pale forms do occur, and forms with extensive black markigns do too, but these are rare. This species flies throughout the Summer.

Similar species[]

Pale forms can look like White Ermines, and White Ermines also have a buff form, but these can be seperated by the fact that the White Ermine has many more dots. The Irish form of the male Muslin Moth is also similar, but is smaller with more rounded wings, and flies earlier.


The larvea feed on a range of plants, including dock, honeysuckle and nettles.

Buff Ermine 19.6

Buff Ermine -


When flying, this species will drop from the sky to avoid bats.