Adult Netted Mountain moths have blackish abdomens and dark wings with variable white flecks (2). The caterpillar grows to 22 mm in length, and has a brown head and a dingy ochreous-brown or brownish-white body, with wavy dark lines passing along its length (3).
The Netted Mountain Moth is single-brooded, and adults are active from late April to early June, although the precise time of emergence depends on the weather and the altitude. They fly in sunshine and are attracted to flowering moorland plants such bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) (2). The eggs are laid in May, and the caterpillars are present from June through to August. They feed at night on bearberry, and spend the day hidden beneath leaves (3). Pupation occurs during August or September in dead leaf litter on the ground, and the adults emerge the following spring (5).
In the British Isles, this moth is known only from the central Scottish Highlands, where it has a fairly scattered distribution. Elsewhere, it is found in northern mainland Europe, where it is relatively common in areas of Norway, Sweden and Finland. In central Europe it occurs on mountains, reaching as far south as the Alps and east to north-east Siberia (4).
The Netted Mountain Moth is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan. The Species Action Plan aims to maintain all current populations of this moth. Some of the sites supporting this species are nature reserves or Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs), and so the species receives a level of protection in these areas. Further surveys and regular monitoring are required to accurately determine and keep track of the status and range of the species. Detailed research into the ecology of this moth is also required in order to guide conservation action (3).
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