Silver Y

Autographa gamma

About

The Silver Y is a medium-sized moth that can be seen on warm days throughout the year, although it is most common during the late summer. The caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants, including Stinging Nettles, clover and cabbages. At times, this migrant may be a very common visitor, especially in flowery grasslands, sand dunes and gardens. It can often be seen flying during the daytime, feeding on nectar from plants, such as buddleia and lavender, but also flies at night. It breeds here but the early stages cannot survive our winter.

How to identify

When at rest, the Silver Y holds its wings back along its body in a tent-like shape. The wings are patterned with dark grey, silver and brown, with the characteristic silver y-shaped mark on the forewings.

Where to find it

Widespread.

Habitats

When to find it

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • Novermber
  • December
  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September

How can people help

Moths such as the Silver Y are common visitors to gardens and can be a joy to watch. To attract moths and butterflies into your garden, plant nectar-rich borders and shrubs for them to feed on, and leave patches of nettles and docks for the caterpillars. To find out more about encouraging wildlife into your garden, visit our Wild About Gardens website: a joint initiative with the RHS, there's plenty of facts and tips to get you started.

Species information

Common name
Silver Y
Latin name
Autographa gamma
Category
Invertebrates
Butterflies and moths
Statistics
Wingspan: 3.5-4.2cm
Conservation status
Migrant.