Lunar Thorn Geometridae

Selenia lunularia (Hubner, 1788)

Description: Wingspan 39-44mm. Similar in appearance to other thorns but unlike the Early Thorn S. dentaria it normally rests with its wings slightly apart. Colouration is subject to much individual variation. The wings have scalloped edges and there are dark patches on the apex of the forewings.

Similar Species: Other Thorns.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: From early May to late July.

Status: Regarded by Baynes as being scarce in Ireland, although recent records show it to be widespread in southern counties, particularly in Down and south Fermanagh. Recorded frequently from well-trapped sites such as the Argory, Peatlands, Brackagh in Armagh, Crom, Florencecourt, Garvary and Monmurray in Fermanagh and Lackan, Seaforde and Castle Espie, Down.

Ecology: Found in a wide range of habitats including woodland, heaths, bogs and suburban gardens. Adults are attracted to light in small numbers. They can occasionally be found during the day by beating the branches of trees. The larvae can be found from July to September on oak Quercus spp., ash, birch Betula spp and possibly other trees. It overwinters in the pupal stage.

World Distribution: Throughout Central Europe and parts of Asia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1918 Agassiz number: 70.238

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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