Nut-tree Tussock Colocasia coryli
The Nut-tree Tussock belongs to a family called the Pantheids. This is a very recent and small moths family. The members (there are only two in Western Europe) were considered to be part of the Owlets for a long time. The adults do really look like Owlets a lot and by looking at them you really wonder why a separate family was considered at all. The larvae however differ very much from the usual Owlet caterpillar. They are extremely hairy and are similar to Tussocks, even showing brushes of hairs at places. The scientists are still debating the exact place of these species, so be prepared for further changes in future. And to complicate matters even more it is called the Nut-tree Tussock, even though it has been regarded being a Noctuid and not a Tussock species for a long time. The adult is quite variable and the ones you see might be (a lot) darker than this one. Even melanic formes are in existance. Reaching a wingspan of some 38 mm it is not a very big moths. It is double-brooded and so it can be seen flying around for a long time: from late April to September. The larvae of the Nut-tree Tussock feed among other trees on birch and beech. They too are extremely variable. The hairs may be white, brown or even black and so may be the tufts! Fairly common in the south of England and most of Wales, but a local species in Scotland and Ireland.