Butterfly of the Year - Herald

Scoliopteryx libatrix 

Heralds are common moths found all across Estonia. They stand out among butterflies and moths by their longevity – if lucky, they may even live for a year.

Heralds are nocturnal and take shelter during the day in places where the shape and colour pattern of their wings helps them stay undetected by predators. Places such as bark crevices on tree trunks suit them well for the purpose. 

Heralds winter in caves, cellars and other cool places, mostly clinging to the ceiling to escape predators. Although they may become coated with frost in cold winters, they are still able to awake from their winter hibernation in spring.

The first food source of heralds in spring is willow. Herald caterpillars, too, feed on willows but also on bilberries, raspberries and other common plants. New moths hatch in the second half of the summer.