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Fox moth

Fox moth

The robust-looking fox moth ‘macrothylacia rubi’ is nocturnal, but may be spotted flying at speed if disturbed during the day; males sometimes fly low down around midday and on sunny afternoons, searching for females.

They are common on New Forest heathlands and open areas where the attractive hairy brown larvae feed on heather, bramble and bilberry (initially they are black with orange bands).

When full grown, they wander on tracks before finding a suitable spot to hibernate, before spinning their cocoons in spring.

Look out for these moths from May to June.

Photos: Graeme Davis

ID Tip

ID Tip

Wingspan: 48-72 mm. Reddish brown males (like a fox!), females greyish brown.

Lead Ranger


'To help ground nesting birds rear their young safely, keep yourself, dogs and ridden horses on the main tracks from the beginning of March to the end of August.'

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