The caterpillar is up to 40 mm long, and thin like a looper with just 3 pairs of prolegs. It feeds on clover and similar plants. The eggs are laid in June and hatch after 3 weeks. In September they pupate and overwinter. The adults emerge the following year in May or June.
More on Mother Shipton and similar moths
Adults fly in June, July and August. Wingspan 16 - 20 mm. Found in a wide variety of habitats, but always near nettles, the foodplant of the caterpillar. More on the Snout and similar moths.
It is hard to believe, but you can see this moth in Torphins! This year (2016) I had one on my nicotiana for ages. It is easily mistaken for a bat as it is huge and forages only at night, and very difficult to actually make out the pattern as it doesn't land on the flower but hovers while drinking, but there is nothing else like this up here, for more>
The caterpillar above was found wandering along the path on a very windy day by my dog. I think it was either looking for a place to pupate, or it had been blown off its foodplant, rose bay willowherb, that lined the path.
For more on this spectacular beastie>