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Magpie (800x536)

Magpie - D Shenton

Magpie Moth

Magpie Moth - WWC Archives

Magpie Moth - Abraxas grossulariata[]

This moth gets its name from its black and white markings (as in the Magpie, Pica pica ). It flies during July-August and lays its eggs on the underside of leaves on currant, blackthorn, gooseberry and hawthorn bushe s. These eggs hatch into caterpillars ten days later. They look a bit like the adults, they are white with two yellow stripes running down their sides and covered in black dots.

After hibernating through the winter they emerge in May-June time to feed on the plant where they were laid and are quite capable from stripping the leaves from the fruit trees and destroying them.

They will form a distinctive chrysalis striped with black and yellow which can be found on the leaves of currant plants in early July when they finally hatch.


Size: Wingspan 35-40mm

Habitiat: Gardens, hedgerows and fruit farms

Magpie Moth TL

When the Magpie Moth is active

Description: Upper sides will have a white background, with a varied amount of black and yellow patterns. Has a yellow body.

Similar Species: Clouded Magpie (much rarer) and Small Magpie (about half the size).


Distribution of Magpie Moths in the UK