Hooktip Moths

The Hooktip Moths (Drepanidae) are a family of butterflies consisting of two subfamilies, the Drepaninae and the Thyatirinae, which share the same type of hearing organ. The Drepaninae are the “real” Hooktip moths and have broad wings, a slender body and almost all a hook-shaped wingtip. These moths are hidden between the leaves of their host plant and are usually only seen in light traps. They do not visit flowers but do come to honeydew or bleeding trees. The Thyatrinae, the False Owlet moths, were previously housed in their own family, the Thyatiridae. They are very similar to owls. Maybe that’s why the English name “false owlet moths”. They are slimmer and hold their wings at rest against their body. They often wear a striking crest on the chest piece.

Subfamily: Drepaninae

Chinese Character – 2018 (NL)

When I saw the Chinese Character (Cilix glaucata) I didn’t realize it was a moth. Being in a resting position, with the wings held straight up, made it look like bird droppings. There is a black spot along the inner edge of the white front wing with a smaller yellow spot next to it. In the mainly grey spot in the middle of the wing there is a white drawing from which this moth, derives its name from the English name. The wingspan is 20-26mm and the flight period is from April to September in two or three generations. Host plant: Blackthorn and Hawthorn. Dutch name: Witte eenstaart. Frisian name: Wyt iensturtsje.


Subfamily: Thyatirinae

Figure of Eighty – 2018 (NL)

A moth belonging to the hooktip moths and a very worthwhile moth, the Figure of Eighty (Tethea ocularis). I was very excited when I got this moth on the canvas at the light. The moth has a cylindrical shape when resting, placing its wings curled close to its body. Besides the hue and drawing of brown and white tones, the white ’80’ on the front wing is most noticeable. The double thin black transverse lines on either side both curve, as it were, around this marking. The colour of the front wing varies from light to dark brown and often has a purplish sheen. The wideband where the ’80’ is located is very light brown. The rear wing is light brown-yellow with a slightly dark zone on the wing edge. The wingspan is 32-40mm and the flight period is in one generation from May to August. Host plant: Aspen and other poplars. Dutch name: Peppel-orvlinder. Frisian name: Peppel orflinter.


Buff Arches – 2020 (NL)

A beautifully marked moth is the Buff Arches (Habrosyne pyritoides). As soon as he is in the resting position, it looks as if you see a flint with the well-known fracture surfaces. On those ‘fracture surfaces’, you see a white and orange-brown zigzag pattern. A white zone can be seen just along the front edge of the forewing. At the border of this white zone, two dark brown white-rimmed spots can be seen, the largest of which has a white core. The wingspan is 34-40mm and the flight period is from August to November in one generation. Host plant: Blackberry and Raspberry. English name: Buff Arches. Frisian name: Fjoerstienflinter.


Peach-blossom – 2020 (NL)

A striking appearance is the Peach-blossom (Thyatira batis). The forewings are brown and show several striking white-pink flower-like spots. At the wingtip are two of those spots, one on the corner of the trailing edge and inner edge and one in the root field. The wingspan is 32-38mm and the flight period is from April to early September in two generations. Host plant: Blackberry and Raspberry. Dutch name: Braamvlinder. Frisian name: Toarnbeiflinter.