The Magpie Abraxas grossulariata
The Magpie Abraxas grossulariata
Adult • Littleborough, Lancashire • © Ian Kimber

70.205 BF1884
The Magpie Abraxas grossulariata

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 35-40 mm.

A very distinctive species, this was a favourite with early collectors, who used to breed it to obtain unusual coloured and patterned forms.

Quite common in most of Britain, though less so in Scotland.

The caterpillar, which has similar colouration to the moth, feeds on currant and gooseberry bushes (Ribes spp.) in particular, and used to be seen as a garden pest, though the species is now declining in many areas.

The moths fly in July and August and are regularly attracted to light.
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