I’ve been spending some time with entomologists at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, as the museum is hosting an exhibition of the Sylva Foundation’s OneOak educational project for the next six months.

I was lucky enough to be able to handle some wonderful collections of insects of myriad colours, sizes and types. My eye was drawn to one moth, admittedly because of its name, but also due to its beautiful iridescent green wings and body: the Forester moth Adscita statices.

Forester moths
Forester moths from the collection at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History. Note the moth above in this collection: the oak processionary moth.

The Forester is a beautiful moth that flies during the day, often in sunshine, during June and July. With its green wings spread it can reach 25-28mm in width. The caterpillars feed on Common sorrel (Rumex acetosa), and the moths are often found feeding on the flowers of ragged robin and clover in meadows.

I am none the wiser why this moth was named the Forester, other than perhaps its colouring and the fact that it can sometimes be found in woodland.  Nevertheless, it’s a beautiful creature.

Gabriel Hemery


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