Dotted Carpet Geometridae

Alcis jubata (Thunberg, 1788)

Description: Wingspan 28-33mm. Adults are generally white with a light dusting of grey; there are also dark patches along the costa of the forewings. The hindwings have a small discal spot and a well-defined crossline.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Individuals have only been recorded in late July and August.

Status: Rare, previously unknown in N. Ireland until its discovery at the wardens cottage near the arboretum in Castlewellan Forest Park in 1999. Despite frequent trapping over the last few years at this locality no other individuals have been found, although suitable habitat exists nearby. Since the only other known record for this species in Ireland was from Co. Kerry in 1941, its status in Ireland was uncertain. Confirmation as a resident species was obtained in 2001 when a colony was discovered in Breen Wood Antrim. Its discovery in eastern counties may indicate that other small colonies may await detection, especially in south Down at Rostrevor or Tollymore, which have had some targeted fieldwork in the last few years.

Ecology: A rare lichen feeding species generally associated with old established woodland. Adults are attracted to light and have been taken in moderate numbers at Breen Wood. Skinner states that individuals may occasionally be found by jarring lichen-covered branches of oak Quercus spp. during the day. The larvae feed on lichens especially beard lichen from September until early summer of the following year. It overwinters as a larva.

World Distribution: Across central Europe to eastern Siberia and Japan.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1942 Agassiz number: 70.266

Additional information:

UK Moths account

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