Saturday, 4 July 2015

Day 243 - Crackingly Super and Magnificent Chimney Sweeper Moth

Chimney Sweeper Moth (Odezia atrata)
Hi all today's Day 243 and I am now officially two thirds of the way through my blog with, at the time of writing, a massive 53,068 views! I honestly can't believe that myself, It means by the end (but it won't be) of a year of my blog I will have had a huge 79,602! I would like to break 80,000, or better still 100,000 so I'd really appreciate it if you could share my blog with your friends.

But anyway, on with today' post. I was walking at one of my favourite place called Silton Forest, on the edge of the North York Moors, It turned out to be a lovely walk in the sunshine, quite a surprise after all of the rain this morning. There were quite a lot of insects flying around, quite a mixture species. Some were very tricky to photograph but I managed to get some ok shots of this one and identify it, I think. I'm not too good at Moths yet but I am trying to get better at ID-ing them such as this one which I'm pretty sure is the Chimney Sweeper moth.

So, here are the facts:

  • This moth is found flying from June to August, mostly in bright sunshine where it feeds on Pignut.
It didn't fly about too much,.
  • Pignut (Conopodium majus) is a member of the carrot family which has lots of little delicate white flowers. It grows about 25cm high and is found in open woodlands, rough grassland and scrubland. 
  • This Moth can be mistaken for the Small Blue Butterfly but this one is actually Black but it 'gets browner with wear'.
  • They are found all over the UK but not as much in Ireland where the are only found in the northern part of the country. They aren't found much in Norfolk either but there has been a sighting on the North Coast.
  • In Southern England they are pretty restricted to just Chalky downland, limestone grassland, woodland edges and hedgerows.
  • In Northern Britain they are more widespread, occurring also in wet grassland and habitats of that kind.
It seemed to be enjoying the sunshine
after this mornings rain.
  • They are quite small and they have a 23mm - 27mm wingspan as well as their fore-wings being 12-15mm.
  • They are usually Dark Blue but, as I said above, they do get browner with wear meaning they are, sometimes, quite different to each other.
  • They overwinter as eggs and the larvae feed mainly on the flowers of Pignut between April and June.
  • The adults emerge and are flying around looking for mates between June and July, there is only one generation a year.
  • It seems this is an unusual moth, it flies in the daytime and prefers bright sunlight!
Here are some links to some more information:

Hope you enjoyed,



  1. I love these Moths, they're so cute! Brilliant find Zach - Tasha

  2. Yes, last year I encountered a guy who was very excited about finding these "small blues" on the local park!