The Types of Moths You’ll Find in Europe: A Guide to Discovering Lepidoptera

Europe is home to a wide variety of moth species, thanks to its diverse range of habitats and climates. From the temperate regions of Northern Europe to the Mediterranean landscapes in the south, Europe offers habitats for numerous moth families and species. While it is not possible to list all the moth species found in Europe, here are some common and notable types of moths:

1. Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba)

The Large Yellow Underwing is one of the most common and widespread moth species in Europe. It has a wingspan of about 1.5 to 2 inches and displays various shades of yellow and brown. The caterpillars of this species feed on a variety of plants and can be found in various habitats.

2. Peppered Moth (Biston betularia)

The Peppered Moth gained significant scientific interest due to its famous example of industrial melanism, where individuals with darker coloration became more prevalent in industrial areas. It has wings that are typically white or light gray with speckled black markings. Peppered Moths can be found throughout Europe.

3. Jersey Tiger Moth (Euplagia quadripunctaria)

The Jersey Tiger Moth is a vibrant and colorful species with distinct patterns. It has bright orange forewings with black spots and black hindwings. This moth is commonly found in grasslands, gardens, and coastal areas across Europe, including the British Isles.

4. Emperor Moth (Saturnia pavonia)

The Emperor Moth is a well-known species in Europe, especially in woodland areas. It has brownish wings with eye-like markings and can have a wingspan of up to 2.5 inches. Emperor Moths are notable for their strong sexual dimorphism, with males having more striking wing patterns compared to females.

5. Hummingbird Hawk-Moth (Macroglossum stellatarum)

The Hummingbird Hawk-Moth is a fascinating species that resembles a small hummingbird. It has a long proboscis adapted for feeding on nectar from flowers while hovering. This moth has brownish wings and a distinctive yellow and black-striped abdomen. It can be found in various habitats across Europe, including gardens and meadows.

6. Burnet Moth (Zygaena spp.)

The Burnet Moths are a group of day-flying moths with metallic-colored wings. They are often found in grasslands, meadows, and coastal areas. The wings of Burnet Moths display striking patterns and colors, including combinations of red, black, and blue.

These are just a few examples of the many moth species found in Europe. The continent’s diverse habitats, ranging from woodlands and grasslands to coastal areas and mountains, provide homes for a wide variety of moths. Exploring the natural environments of Europe offers the opportunity to encounter and appreciate the remarkable diversity and beauty of moths in the region.