Small Autumnal Moth Geometridae

Epirrita filigrammaria (Herrich-Schaffer, 1846)

Description: Wingspan 30-38mm. Adults are greyish brown with a few small darkish-coloured bands across the forewings; usually well defined when fresh. These can be difficult to see in some adults. There is a well-defined fringe along the edge of each forewing. Very similar but smaller in size than the Autumnal Moth and require careful examination to confirm identity.

Similar Species: Adults bear a close resemblance to the Autumnal Moth and require careful examination to confirm identity.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Early August to mid-October.

Status: A scarce upland species, more localised in its distribution than the Autumnal Moth with only a few recent records from scattered localities. It has been confirmed from Davagh Forest, Tyrone, where it has been taken in small numbers, and Seaforde, Down where it was found in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There are other records from Helen's Bay, Down but these require confirmation. Old records exist for Magilligan, Londonderry and Enniskillen, Benaughlin and Florencecourt, Fermanagh.

Ecology: Inhabits upland areas and moorland. Adults are attracted to light in small numbers and can be found after dark resting on vegetation and occasionally rocks. The larvae can be found in April and May on Heather Calluna vulgaris and Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus. It overwinters as an egg.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1798 Agassiz number: 70.110

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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