Hebrew Character

Orthosia gothica

Ryszard Szczygieł
Iain H Leach
Garry Barlow
Paul Davis

Identification Tip

This moth looks similar to the autumn-flying Setaceous Hebrew Character, but has a darker mark on its wings and doesn’t have the straw-coloured triangular shape.

What do they eat?

Caterpillars munch on a range of plants including:

  • Birch
  • Oak
  • Hawthorn
  • Common Nettle
  • Meadowsweet



Adult moths take nectar from the flowers (called catkins) of willow trees.

Where does it spend the winter?

In autumn, caterpillars turn into a chrysalis in an underground cocoon, where they will stay for the whole winter until the adult moth emerges the following spring.



Flying Season

March - April

Life Cycle


February, March, April, May, June


April, May


April, May, June, July


January, February, March, July, August, September, October, November, December

UK Distribution

  • England
  • Scotland
  • Wales
  • Northern Ireland

Want to learn


There is even more about this species on the main Butterfly Conservation website

Fun Facts
about the Hebrew Character

This moth gets its name from the dark shape on its wing, which looks like the Hebrew letter ‘nun’.