One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A day-flying European moth with a marking on the wing that is said to resemble the profile of an old woman.
Callistega mi, family Noctuidae
- ‘The Mother Shipton is named after an old Yorkshire witch because of the caricature of an old hag's hooked nose, piercing eye and pointed chin that can be seen (if you use your imagination) on the moth's forewing.’
- ‘Moths, too, are in abundance and of many types including the Emperor Moth, Northern Eggar, Drinker Moth, Wood Tiger, Clouded Buff and the curious Mother Shipton Moth, with markings on the wing resembling the face of the Prophet Witch Mother Shipton.’
Late 19th century: from the name of Mother Shipton, a legendary English seer.
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