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Poplar Grey moth - Acronicta megacephala
Family - Noctuidae

A dark grey night flying moth with mottled black forewings and pale stigmata, wingspan of 40-45mm (1.6-1.8in), the hind wings are white with dark veins, melanistic forms sometimes occur.  Superficially similar to several other moth species, it can be difficult to identify, however the Grey-brown very hairy caterpillar of the Poplar Grey has a distinctive round white mark on it's tenth segment, two reddish orange spots on segments two & three, four spots on segments four to nine & eleven.

Found throughout west Europe in woodland areas where Poplar, Willow and Alder species are found, common in the south of the UK its range extends to southern Scotland.  Usually seen from mid May to early August in the UK, adults can be seen on various tree trunks during the daytime.  Larvae feed on various Poplar species, and also possibly Willow, from July to September, over wintering as a pupa.

73.046, Bradley & Fletcher #2278

Poplar Grey Moth - Acronicta megacephala caterpillar, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse
Photo ©2002 - M. Virtala
Poplar Grey Moth - Acronicta megacephala caterpillar, click for a larger image, licensed for reuse
Photo ©2009 - Lymantria
Poplar Grey Moth - Acronicta megacephala caterpillar, click for a larger image
Photo ©2005

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