Perfect camouflage

Buff Tip moth
Buff Tip Moth

The Buff tip moth, Phalera bucephala. A truly fascinating British moth, which is easily visible here, but if found on its food plant, the birch tree, remains virtually unnoticeable. The wings have the same colours, shades and patterns as the twigs and the head and the tips of the wings both have the pale yellow colours of broken birch twigs. Like all moths which rely on camouflage, they remain completely still during the daylight hours, even when touched, to avoid giving the game away. Isn’t nature remarkable :0)

Seen on my artist websites’ Macro and close up Gallery


8 thoughts on “Perfect camouflage”

  1. I used to run a moth trap in my garden and never ceased to be fascinated by The Buff Tip. If you have never done so it’s fun to put a light out and see what turns up. I used a Robinson trap but just a cold tube and a white sheet will bring them in. Angleshades was another favourite. Super photo, James.


    1. Many thanks, Andrew. I have a Robinson trap and, as I live in the middle of nowhere, I use the Mercury Vapour bulb. The anticipation in the morning is great and I caught one of my favourites – the peach Blossom, last night, along with 4 poplar hawk Moths and a buff Tip. No Angled Shades yet this year, but I agree it is a mighty fine moth :0)


      1. Peach Blossom is rather special. I use a 125w MV but have to be careful as we are in a quiet area but there are other houses nearby. One pal uses a black lamp. I used to get my kit from Anglian Lepidopterist Supplies – Jon Clifton. I’ve got a moth photo gallery up if you are interested.


      2. Superb work Andrew. I apologise – I was leaving a comment and did not seem to be accepting, so posted several times, then noticed thay had all come in a the top!! Please feel free to delete the dupliactes – I could not do it myself. I am now inspired to get a collection going for the UK moths. All the best


      3. Great recommendation, Andrew. Took a bit of digging, but found him as one word (Benneyboymothman). A great set of British moths and beetles too – could be a good ID guide and certainly something I would love to do – a lifelong project in the making 🙂


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