Chimney Sweeper Geometridae

Odezia atrata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 27-30mm. Adults fly by day in sunshine. Both wings are very dark brown apart from a distinctive white tip at the apex of the forewings. Individuals often look paler with age.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-June to mid-July.

Status: A small day-flying species with a mainly western distribution which is widespread in central Tyrone but rare elsewhere. The only recent records outside Tyrone county are from Murlough Bay, Antrim in 1994, Bealnaslaght Bridge, Londonderry in 1996 and Tullynacor, Fermanagh in 1997. The latter is the first record for many years for this county; it was previously recorded from Tempo Manor back in the early 20th century. It was probably overlooked for many years in some areas of Tyrone. However, with increased recording in recent years, a number of previously unknown colonies have been discovered. Other small colonies may yet await discovery as other suitable sites within the county are investigated.

Ecology: A pretty species most active in sunshine when it can be seen flying around flowers in damp unimproved grassland especially close to woodland. The larvae can be found from April to June on the seeds and flowers of Pignut Conopodium majus. It overwinters as an egg.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1870 Agassiz number: 70.130

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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