Cheshire Macro-Moths - Ghost Moth

The Ghost Moth (Hepialus humuli humuli) - a male. (Photo by: Steve J. McWilliam) The Ghost Moth - Hepialus humuli humuli Linnaeus

Imago / Adult:

The adult moth (imago) varies between 44 and 48 millimetres wingspan. The males wing ground colour is generally white though it may show colouration or faintish markings of buff to brown which are more usual in the female. The males hover over clumps of grasses in the early dusk light their whiteness making them quite visible in the fading light and giving rise to their English name. The females are the sexual initiators seeking out the hovering (or 'leking/lekking') males and knocking them to the ground. The species is a resident moth being single brooded and on the wing in June and July in open grassy places. It is a common moth in the Vice-Counties of Cheshire (VC-58) and South Lancashire (VC-59). The moth comes readily to both MV and actinic light sources.


The larvae, usually 28 to 32 mm in length. They are the glossy, dirty white colour with an orange-brown head often associated with subterranean larvae from many different orders. The spiracles are a very dark brown in colour.


The larvae feed between August and May on the roots of grasses and low growing herbs such as docks (Rumex sp.)


The moth overwinters as a larva and depending upon the food value of the plant roots in the habitat occupied may take two years to develop to an adult.












© Consult-Eco - 1998-2002 - All rights reserved
4 Priory Close, Halton, Runcorn, Cheshire, WA7 2BN
Tel: 01928-573697

WebMaster:  Steve J. McWilliam
Rev. 1.0    Change-Date: 10/03/2000

For assistance with Entomology, Education, Invertebrates, Surveying, Local Record Centres or Web Design/Construction
please contact Steve J. McWilliam  at Consult-Eco:-