Common Carpet Geometridae

Epirrhoe alternata (Muller, 1764)

Description: Wingspan 27-30mm. Adults are richly marked and often quite variable. The wing colour is generally white, although most of this is obscured by the greyish markings on the outer margin of the forewings and darker central band, which in some individuals may be broken or incomplete. The area between is generally white with a pale grey line.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: From the beginning of May to early September.

Status: Common and widespread throughout all counties including Rathlin Island, Antrim.

Ecology: Found on a variety of habitats including woodland rides, clearings, heaths and suburban gardens. Adults become active from dusk onwards and are attracted to light in moderate numbers. They are frequently encountered (often in moderate numbers) during the daytime and are easily flushed from low growing vegetation, where they often rest. The larvae can be found in June and July and again in September on various bedstraws Galium spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1738 Agassiz number: 70.061

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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