The Moths of Suffolk
1654 Figure of Eighty, Tethea ocularis, (Linnaeus, 1767)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 1)

Distribution and abundance : Widespread

Habitats : Fens, gardens, woodland, scrub, heathland, grassland, wherever its foodplant grows

Flight Period : Single-brooded; late May to mid-August

Larval foodplants : Aspen and poplars

Morley's Final Catalogue : This local moth, which extends no further north than Norfolk, was among the plums of the old Ipswich dealers, who failed to exstirpate it. Our earliest records are from Stowmarket (Ent.Wk. Intell. ii, 1857, 115) and Woolverstone by Dr. Bree (l.c. v, 1858, 30) ; next it was found at Aldeburgh (Hele 1870, 188), where Wratislaw discovered it 'in considerable quantity' (Suff. Inst. iv, 1870, 220). Before 1890, it had been further noted at Bixley decoy, Brandeston, Needham, Bury, Brandon and at Beccles. Later records show it at Copdock in 1896 (Hkg) ; at sugar (Ml) and rest in Ipswich (Baylis); single specimens in most years at Waldringfield (Wlr); near Bury and at Tuddenham St. Martin (Sparke); a few pupae annually before 1911 at Timworth (Nurse); on sugar at Gorleston in 1923 and Hopton (Mr). Yarmouth (Tr. Norf. Soc. 1899, 540). One on sugar at Mights bridge in Southwold, June 1935 (Baker); Sotterley, Lowestoft and Mildenhall that year (Btn).

Wingspan details : Forewing 16-20mm, Wingspan 36-44mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultPoplar Lutestring, Tethea or
Figure of Eight, Diloba caeruleocephala

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Eye (12.vi.2000) © Paul Kitchener

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
21 100 16 1

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
pupa pupa pupa pupa pupaimago ovaimago ovalarvaimago larva pupa pupa pupa pupa

Further Photographs

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Ipswich, Suffolk (vi.2004) © N Sherman
Thetford (19.v.2004) © L Gregory
Thetford, Norfolk (22.v.2007) © Lee Gregory
 
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Ipswich, Suffolk (23.v.2010) © Neil Sherman
Ipswich, Suffolk (16.vi.2017) © Paul Kitchener