Yellow Horned Achlya flavicornis
The Yellow Horned doesn't look much like the hook-tips, but rather like an owlet. It belongs to the same family though, which is only obvious looking at the caterpillars. The adult Yellow Horned keeps its wings the way owlets do and it is a very hairy species indeed. Appearing in early spring it usually is on the wing in March and April. The specimen in the top picture has been photographed on March 16th, 2004. Even though the species is not colourful at all, the markings are quite beautiful. The larvae live on birches only. The yellow Horned therefore is common in woodlands and heathland. The eggs are deposited near buds of leaves, one by one. The larvae actually are quite beautiful, live in leaves woven together and pupate in June or July. The pupa overwinter, occasionally twice. A common species in England and Wales, reaching a wingspan of 39 to 44 mm. In Scotland, including Orkney and the Inner Hebrides, a local race exists. These are bigger than the southern ones (wingspan ordinarily ranging from 43 to almost 50 mm) and have more pronounced markings on the forewing. It is a local species in Ireland.