Birch Mocha Geometridae

Cyclophora albipunctata (Hufnagel, 1767)

Description: Wingspan 25-29mm. Adults are variable in colour but the majority of individuals taken here have pale greyish forewings with the central area flushed with a reddish hue. There is a dark discal spot with a white centre on each wing (a distinctive characteristic of all mochas) and a broken medial line that runs across both wings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-May to the end of July.

Status: Local, mainly reported from bogs and fens in north Armagh such as Peatlands, Argory and Selshion Moss. There are also records from Lisblake bog, Anagrane, Monmurray and Tullyreagh Bridge in Fermanagh. The only recent record further east is from Lackan Bog, Down.

Ecology: An attractive species associated with heaths and bogs especially where birches flourish. Adults are attracted to light but never commonly. It may be more widespread than records suggest in the west, where much suitable habitat exists. The larvae can be found from July until September on birch Betula spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1677 Agassiz number: 70.032

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=5750

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