Small Seraphim Geometridae

Pterapherapteryx sexalata (Retzius, 1783)

Description: Wingspan 22-26mm. Adults have pale grey forewings marked with dark grey cross-lines. There are two central bands - one near the basal area and the other towards the outer margin of the forewing. Hindwings unmarked white to pale grey.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: May to the beginning of July.

Status: Scarce and local, mainly confined to western counties. All of the recent records are from Fermanagh and Tyrone. There are old records for Londonderry and Ballymacilranby, Antrim, but it has not been seen in either county since the 1950s. It was not seen again until 1988 when its was recorded at Florencecourt, Fermanagh. Other recent records have come from Monmurray and Legatillida, Fermanagh and Rehaghy and Fivemiletown, Tyrone.

Ecology: A pretty species that favours damp woodland and wet marshy areas where willows are common. Despite the existence of suitable habitat in many areas it seems elusive and is seldom encountered at light. The larvae can be found from June until August on willow Salix spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Central and northern Europe to south-eastern Russia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1882 Agassiz number: 70.199

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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