Bloxworth Snout Moth

Bloxworth Snout MothBloxworth Snout Moth

Latin name: Hypena obsitalis

Forewing length: 15-17mm.

Only small numbers have been recorded along the south coast of England, with very localised breeding, since the 1990's making it rare in the UK. But it is abundant in the Channel Islands and increasing steadily since WW2 because the bunkers provide ideal hibernation sites. Generally prefer rough ground below and above south-facing cliffs and sheltered footpaths and walls with foodplants. But in Alderney they can be found throughout the island, in sheltered places where there are dry-stone walls or German bunkers for the moths to hibernate, and where the foodplant occurs. In the UK the Bloxworth Snout is basically single-brooded, but in Alderney can be found throughout the year, with the larva feeding on pellitory-of-the-wall. The moth is usually seen at dusk, fluttering over the foodplant. It does not come to light, but flies away from it!

Bloxworth Snout Moth

Identifying feature: There are two forms of this moth that occur equally frequently. One is typically paler with light brown forewings with a triangular dark central patch in the leading (top) half (pictured top of page). Whereas the second form (pictured left) is dark brown instead of pale. The dark form is usually male and the pale form female - but not always. The most notable feature is the Snout family (Hypeninae) trait of upturned palps (an elongated appendage near the mouth for sensation, locomotion or feeding) or 'snout'.