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The moth's wingspan is 45–65 mm and is identifiable by two white spots on the forewings. It flies from June to August depending on the location.
Larvae and pupae
The species gets its English (and Latin) name from the habits of the caterpillar which is supposed to have a liking for drops of dew. The fully grown larva is about 6 cm long, hairy, striped and spotted, with distinctive tufts fore and aft. Larvae hibernate while young and resume feeding in the spring, pupating in a cocoon during the summer.
The imago has a wingspan of 45–65 mm. The yellowish females are slightly larger than the orange-brown male but both sexes usually show the two distinctive white spots on the forewing.
The drinker moth is most frequently found in marshy places, fens and riversides but may also be seen in drier, grassy terrain. It is a nocturnal flier, seen in July and August. Males especially are attracted to light.
Grasses and reeds form the bulk of the food plants for larvae.
The species is fairly common in the southern half of Britain. In a recent survey to determine the status of all macro moths in Britain this species was classified as common.
The VC55 Status is fairly common in Leicestershire and Rutland, but possibly declining. L&R Moth Group status is common and resident.
- Drinker at UKmoths "UK Moths - Drinker". Retrieved 18 June 2014.
- Ford, R.L.E. (1963). Larger British Moths. Frederick Warne.