Garden Carpet Geometridae

Xanthorhoe fluctuata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 27-31mm. Adults appear whitish grey, although this can vary between different individuals. The central band is usually incomplete appearing as a dark-coloured patch at the costal edge of each forewing. There is also a dark-coloured basal patch and a broken line around the peripheral edge of the forewing.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: The species has a long flight period appearing from early May right through to early October.

Status: Widely distributed throughout all counties particularly in the south east. Less evident inland north of Lough Neagh, but frequently encountered along the north coast and on Rathlin Island.

Ecology: A common species associated with a wide variety of habitats including suburban areas and mature gardens. Adults are attracted to light in moderate numbers and are also found occasionally at rest on stone walls and fences etc. The larvae can be found from June until October on garlic mustard and various other crucifers. It overwinters as a pupa.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1728 Agassiz number: 70.049

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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