The Moths of Suffolk
2062 Water Ermine, Spilosoma urticae, (Esper, 1789)

National Status : Notable Nb

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Localised to the coastal areas and northern eastern fens

Habitats : Fens, wet meadows, marshes, ditches, vegetated shingle

Flight Period : Single-brooded; late May to July

Larval foodplants : Herbaceous plants such as Water Mint, Water Dock, Yellow Loosestrife, Lousewort and Yellow Iris

Records : Otley (N Sherman, 2003) is unusual in being so far inland

Morley's Final Catalogue : Extremely rare and found only singly. Tuddenham (T. & J. Brown of Cambridge); Beccles (Crf) and Gorleston (Hist. Yarm., probably in error): ante 1890. One in Copdock Rectory avenue, c. 1895 (Hkg). One at Kessingland in June 1890 (Ctw). One found floating on Oulton Dyke about 1920 (D). One female bred 21 May 1927 from Belton larva (Ellis).

Wingspan details : Forewing 18-21mm, Wingspan 38-46mm


Confusion species
    AdultWhite Ermine, Spilosoma lubricipeda
Muslin Moth, Diaphora mendica

Compare confusion species

Click to view full size image
Carlton Marshes (30.v.2003) © A Prichard

Flight chart
4 100 18

Life history chart
pupa pupa pupa pupa pupa imago ovalarvaimago larva pupa pupa pupa pupa

Further Photographs

Click to view full size imageClick to view full size imageClick to view full size image
Rendham ( © M Deans
Carlton Marshes, Suffolk (v.2003) © N Sherman
First site record - Ipswich, Suffolk (vi.2008) © Neil Sherman
Click to view full size image
Burgh Casttle, Suffolk ( © Brian Jones