Large Emerald Geometridae

Geometra papilionaria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 50-64mm. The adult moth is green with white median cross lines on both wings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-June to mid-August.

Status: Widespread and frequently encountered in a variety of habitats particularly fens and cutover bogs in north Armagh and parts of Down.

Ecology: The largest of the Emeralds found in Northern Ireland inhabiting open woodland (especially birch), heaths and bogs. Adults are attracted to at light in moderate numbers but tend not to enter traps. Instead adults are often found in the vicinity resting among the vegetation. The larvae can be found from September to May of the following year on birch Betula spp. and occasionally Alder Alnus glutinosa. It overwinters as a larva attached to its foodplant.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1666 Agassiz number: 70.299

Additional information:

UK Moths account


 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland