Scarce Prominent Notodontidae

Maps updated: April 2008

Odontosia carmelita (Esper, 1799)

Description: Wingspan 44-52mm. Adults are reddish-brown and when at rest adopt a similar posture to the Coxcomb Prominent P. capuchin. The forewings are scalloped and similar in colour but suffused with grey scales, which give the moth a purplish-grey appearance. The hindwing is paler with a dark brown anal patch. The thorax and body are dark brown.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: April, but occasionally late March in some years.

Status: Stated by Baynes as being scarce in Ireland and very localised in its distribution. In N. Ireland was first discovered in 1992 at Crom, Fermanagh. This remained the only known locality for five years, although it was thought by many that its discovery at other similar habitats in the west was only a matter of time. Its detection at Rehaghy Mountain, Tyrone in 1997 was followed by other records in 2001 at Monmurry, Legatillida and Marble Arch, Fermanagh and in 2002 at Altadavan, Tyrone. These finds were largely the result of persistent early trapping. Elsewhere in Ireland it has been recorded from Cos. Kerry, Cork, Tipperary and Wicklow.

Ecology: An early spring species restricted to old established birch woodland in the west of the province. Adults are attracted to light but are never seen commonly. The larvae can be found from May until July on birch Betula spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Through central and northern Europe.

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=6096

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