Grey Mountain Carpet Geometridae

Entephria caesiata (Denis & Schiff., 1775)

Description: Wingspan 32-41mm. Adults are greyish brown with a series of dark median cross lines. The hindwings are pale creamy white. There is a certain degree a variability among specimens, which is reflected in their markings. Since most populations occur in rocky upland regions of the province, their coloration often reflects their surroundings and the rocks and stones they frequently rest on during the day.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: From the beginning of July to late-September.

Status: A scarce upland species that is more likely under recorded than in decline. Its elusive nature and the difficulties encountered in carrying out targeted fieldwork in many moorland regions may well account for its scarceness. It is known from upland areas in Fermanagh, north Antrim and the Mournes. There are recent records are from Cuilcagh and Benaughlin, Fermanagh and Slieveanorra, Antrim and also Belfast, Down. It has not been seen since the late 1930s in the Mournes, Down, although there is no reason to assume that it is not there - the lack of any recent fieldwork in its upland habitat here is more likely to account for its absence.

Ecology: Adults appear at light sparingly and are best looked for during the day where they can be flushed from heather or other low-growing vegetation as well as rocks, fence posts, tree trunks and stone walls on which they like to rest. Some of the most recent records are of individuals found by day. The larvae can be found during the autumn and again in the spring on Heather Calluna vulgaris and Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus. It overwinters as a larva.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1744 Agassiz number: 70.072

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=5824

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