Brimstone moth

Brimstone Moth

©Amy Lewis

Brimstone moth

Scientific name: Opisthograptis luteolata
The brimstone moth is a yellow, night-flying moth with distinctive brown-and-white spots on its angular forewings. It frequently visits gardens, but also likes woods, scrub and grasslands.

Species information


Wingspan: 2.8-4.2cm

Conservation status


When to see

April to October


The brimstone moth is a medium-sized, mainly night-flying moth that is on the wing between April and October when it frequently comes to lights in the garden. It can also be found in woodland, scrub and grassland habitats. The twig-like caterpillars feed on a variety of shrubs in the rose family, including hawthorn, blackthorn and rowan. The brimstone moth hibernates as a dense cocoon, usually on the ground.

How to identify

The brimstone moth is bright yellow; it has white spots edged with brown and two orangey-brown markings along the front edges of its forewings. The wings are quite angular in appearance. There are several other yellow moths with brown markings: if seen well, the brimstone moth can be distinguished by its white spot.



Did you know?

The brimstone moth is a member of the more delicate, butterfly-like Geometridae family of moths: there are more than 300 Geometrids in the UK!

How people can help

To attract butterflies and moths into your garden, plant nectar-rich borders for them to feed along and climbing ivy and shrubs for overwintering insects.