Argent and Sable Geometridae

Rheumaptera hastata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 34-38mm. Day-flying. Forewings marked with black and white and a white central band. Hindwings similar with a more defined central white band. The outer margin of both wings is chequered.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Late May to mid-June.

Status: A scarce and local species, which had not been seen between the early 1970s and late 1990s when it was until found at a number of sites in west Fermanagh. The most recent records come from Lough Alaban, Braade, and Lough Namanfin, Fermanagh. There are old records for Aughnacloy, Tyrone in the 1970s; Tollymore Forest, Down in the early 1940s and Derry in the late 19th century.

Ecology: This attractive day-flying species is most active in sunshine flying over boggy hillsides and moorland. It is normally a scarce moth with only a few individuals seen at any one time even at some of its better known haunts. The larvae can be found from July until the beginning of September on Bog Myrtle Myrica gale. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Across Europe including Iceland and east to China.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1787 Agassiz number: 70.120

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=5867

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