Scarce Umber Geometridae

Agriopis aurantiaria (Hubner, 1799)

Description: Wingspan 40-44mm. Adult males are variable in colour ranging from a pale yellow orange to a darker brown. The forewings have two cross-lines with a light mottled appearance. The females are wingless.

Similar Species: Similar in appearance to the Dotted Border A. marginaria which normally flies later, however both species in N. Ireland have been recorded in January.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside female upperside

Flight Period: From the end of October to mid-January, which is later than Skinner's recorded flight period.

Status: Scarce, with a sporadic distribution in N. Ireland. Most of the recent records are from well-known sites such as, Belvoir Park Forest, Rehaghy Mountain, Caledon estate, Gosford Forest Park and Monmurry Bog. There are old records from Favour Royal, Killymoon and Lissan, as well as Tempo Manor and Enniskillen. It was previously recorded from Rostrevor early in the last century, but there are no recent reports of individuals despite on-going fieldwork in the area. In southern Ireland it has not been recorded south of Monaghan with the exception of Kerry.

Ecology: A late autumn species found mainly in woodland, heaths and old estate plantations. It is seen frequently at light in a few favoured sites. The females are wingless and can be found on the trunks of trees after dark. The larvae can be found from April to June mainly on oak Quercus spp., birch Betula spp. and Hazel Corylus avellana. It over winters in the egg stage.

World Distribution: Throughout central Europe.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1933 Agassiz number: 70.254

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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