Found an interesting looking moth or caterpillar and don't know where to start?
I receive quite a number of emails from people who have, but who find searching through the website rather daunting and difficult. I hope this page will help.
Alternatively, try the new keyword search (although this doesn't yet contain caterpillars).
Listed below in order of frequency are the most popular ID requests I've had since starting this website. This should give you a starting point at least.
This should be called the "Popular Hawk-moth"! - it's the most frequently requested identification I get. Large, peculiarly shaped and not easily disturbed.
Often described as camouflaged - green and brown, or sometimes just shades of brown, often found in suburban areas. Around 2 or 3 inches wingspan.
Black and greyish-buff, with a 4 or 5 inch wingspan and 'concorde' shape at rest. Body with pink and black stripes.
About 1.5 inches long, has unusual 'crumpled' or folded wings at rest, evolved to provide excellent camouflage amongst dried leaves. Can be found at any time of year.
A wonderful pink and green species, with streamlined appearance and around 2.5 inches wingspan. Legs and antennae have whitish appearance.
Normally well-camouflaged with subtle darker and lighter shades of brown, it rests in a strange position with hindwings held slightly forward. Has intense blue and pink eyes on hindwings, but these are not normally visible.
Looks like a hummingbird! - flies in the daytime and hovers in front of flowers, extending its proboscis to drink nectar. The orange-brown hindwings and black and white tail can be seen as it hovers.
With a fanciful resemblance to an elephant's trunk, and up to 3 inches long, this caterpillar is velvety to the touch and has false 'eyes' which it displays when alarmed.
About 2 inches across the wings, with delicate yellowish or creamy paper-like appearance. Has distinct 'tails' on the hindwings with darker spots at the base. Once described as a 'Flying post-it note'! Normally only flying in mid to late July.
A distinctive red and black species, normally nocturnal but easily flushed in the daytime.Can be confused with the Burnet moths, which are strictly day-flyers, preferring sunshine.
A very distinctive yellow hairy caterpillar, with four noticeable yellow tuftsalong the back and a brownish one extending from the rear end.
A very distinctive white fluffy species; quite large, reaching about 2 inches from head to tail, with delicate black markings. Docile if found during the day.
One of the most colourful of our moths, with chocolate brown forewings netted with a cream pattern, and orange-red hindwings with dark blue spots.
A strange moth, which rests in a T-shape, with the wings rolled tightly around. About 1 inch in wingspan, it also has long spindly legs and is generally pale buff in colour.
A smallish, about 1 inch long brown moth with whiter markings. It is attracted to light and may come to your kitchen window in May or June. Has a very fast, whirring flight.
Rich red-brown, resting in a distinctive triangular fashion. The antennae can look very white, but are sometimes held hidden beneath the wings. A late autumn species, usually in October and November.
A large grey moth, wingspan about 4 inches. Quite a rare immigrant species, which can turn up anywhere in autumn, though more likely near the coast.
About an inch across the wings, this two-tone buff moth appears in July and August. There is a darker band across the centre of the wings containing a brown spot.
A yellow, black and white caterpillar which is sometimes found in gardens, as it has a tendency to feed on Buddleia in addition to its normal foodplants.
Not one of these? try the keyword search