The Magpie - Abraxas grossulariata

Alt Name
Magpie Moth

Wingspan 35-40 mm. A very distinctive species, this was a favourite with early collectors, who used to breed it to obtain unusual coloured and patterned forms.


Parks and gardens.

When to see it

The moths fly in July and August and are regularly attracted to light.

Life History

The caterpillar, which has similar colouration to the moth, feeds on Currant and Gooseberry bushes in particular, and used to be seen as a garden pest, though the species is now declining in many areas.

UK Status

Quite common in most of Britain, though less so in Scotland. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland, but possibly declining throughout its range. L&R Moth Group status = A (common and resident)

70.205 BF1884

Leicestershire & Rutland Map

UK Map