Miller (moth)

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This article is about the miller moth of Europe. The name "miller" is also used for similar moths elsewhere, such as the genus Agrotis (e.g. Agrotis laysanensis). See Army cutworm for information on the miller moth found in the western United States.
The miller
Acronicta leporina1.jpg
Acronicta leporina4.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Acronicta
Species: A. leporina
Binomial name
Acronicta leporina
(Linnaeus, 1758)

The miller (Acronicta leporina) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found throughout Europe apart from the far south-east.The range extends from the South of Spain, Central Italy and Bulgaria to Scotland and Central Scandinavia, crossing the Arctic circle in Finland and Norway. Outside Europe it is only known in North Africa. In the Eastern Palearctic and the Nearctic ecozone it is replaced by Acronicta vulpina, (Grote, 1883) formerly known as Acronicta leporina subspecies vulpina



This is a variable but always distinctive species, the forewings ranging from almost white to dark grey (pale grey being the most common colour form) with characteristic crescent-shaped black markings. The hindwings are white. The wingspan is 1.5-1.69 in (38–43 mm). Adults of this species fly at night from June to August [1] and will come to light and sugar but are not especially strongly attracted.

The larva is green, covered in long white or yellow hairs. It feeds on a variety of trees (see list below), often feeding on bark and soft wood. This species overwinters as a pupa, sometimes spending two winters in this form.

Different larva instars and pupa taken from Jacob Hübner's Geschichte europäischer Schmetterlinge

Recorded food plants[edit]


  1. ^ The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range.


  • Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984

External links[edit]