Skip to main content

Silver Y Moth

Autographa gamma

Silver Y Moth, Silver Y

A photograph Autographa gamma Silver Y moth wingspan against a white background
Autographa gamma.o1 by Dumi (CC BY-SA 3.0)
1 of 10
These moths get their names from the distinctive metallic silver Y on the wings. The silver Y moth is a migratory insect that visits British shores in spring and autumn, with population numbers becoming increasingly high during September. They're a medium-sized moth that can occur almost anywhere but they tend to be associated with warmer southern winds.
Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Traits

These moths are an excellent source of food for wildlife.
Are known to use Brassicas and garden pea as a caterpillar food plant.

Appearance

The adult moth looks similar to several other brown moths. The way to tell this moth apart is by the conspicuous 'Y' on both its wings. It's silver, metallic and unbroken. Wings span from 35-40mm. As caterpillars, these insects are bright green with fine, pale hairs covering the length of the body. Its body has fine pale cream stripes running longitudinally down the body.

Symptoms

Bright green caterpillars may be found on Brassica plants and garden pea.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Noctuidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe.

Biological treatment

Moths can be important pollinators, they're also a vital resource for garden wildlife, like bats, reptiles, and other predatory insects. Unfortunately, the larvae, or caterpillars, can sometimes be pests in years where conditions are optimum for breeding. If in high abundance, caterpillars may be picked off garden plants using gloves and relocated.

Chemical treatment

It's not advised to treat gardens chemically when these moths are present.

Attracts

Stinging Nettle

Urtica dioica

Annual Nettle

Urtica urens

Mustard

Brassica spp.

Pea

Pisum sativum

Free download for your phone or tablet
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Plant Knowledge

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play