Dark Spinach Geometridae

Pelurga comitata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 33-39mm. Adults are pale ochreous in colour with a darker wavy median band, which is often paler in the central area. Adults rest with their bodies curled up at the apex.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: From the beginning of July to late August.

Status: A scarce species that may have declined from some of its former haunts as a result of changes in agricultural practice. Recent records include Larne, Antrim, also Killard Point NNR, Helen's Bay and Murlough NNR, Down; and Crom Estate, Fermanagh. Most of the other records date back to the 1970s and 80s. It was formally recorded from Portballintrae on the north Antrim coast and Rathlin Island in the mid-1930s.

Ecology: An elusive species with a preference for abandoned ground where weeds flourish. The larvae can be found in September and October on goosefoot and oraches Atriplex spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1749 Agassiz number: 70.069

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=5829

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