Coxcomb Prominent Ptilodon capucina
The Coxcomb Prominent belongs to a family called the Prominents. This is a family of very hairy moths. All do look like Noctuids very much, but the vains in the wings run differently and that's the way the expert tells them apart. If you are no expert, it is a tricky thing to separate your Noctuids from the Prominents, but Prominents often have more hairs and when resting they keep their wings almost straight up, sometimes making the moth look like a dead leaf. The caterpillars of Prominents are often quite bizar. They are rather hairless, but grow bumps on the back and often also on the chest. Of all European species we have only seen a few species in our garden, including the Coxcomb Prominent below to the left. This is a brownish species, even though the brown may vary from yellowish to blackish. The animals have a striking hood on top. It is a medium sized moth having a widthspan of some 50 mm. The animal is on the wing from May to September, but because it is double-brooded, the numbers fall sharply in July. The caterpillars live on many species of deciduous trees. It is a common species all over Europe, including most of the British Isles.