Common Heath Geometridae

Ematurga atomaria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 22-34mm. Adults are day-flying and variable in colour, which can range from yellowish brown to dark brown. Males have comb-like antennae and are often seen at rest on heather. Females are often brown with a dusting of white. They can in some cases be almost white with a series of brown crosslines.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside female upperside

Flight Period: From mid- April to early August

Status: Common and widespread throughout all counties.

Ecology: A small day-flying moth, associated mainly with heaths and bogs. Adults are frequently seen by day flying in sunshine. During dull and inclement weather they settle low down among the heather and other vegetation making them more difficult to detect. One of the most commonly encountered day-flying moths found in N. Ireland. The larvae occur from July to September on heather, clovers and trefoils. It overwinters in the pupal stage.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe to Siberia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1952 Agassiz number: 70.275

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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