Autumnal Moth Geometridae

Epirrita autumnata (Borkhausen, 1794)

Description: Wingspan 40-44mm. Forewings brownish grey with two median bands. The line is normally at a right angle to the discal spot which helps to separate it from the Small Autumnal when both are present at the one site. Hindwings creamy white, darker at the outer margin.

Similar Species: Small Autumnal

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Early September to mid-November.

Status: Widely distributed in southern counties with a few scattered records further north. Possibly under recorded in some areas due to its close resemblance to other species in this genus. Reliably recorded from Rehaghy and Ballynasollus, Tyrone; Crom Estate and Garvary Wood, Fermanagh; and Belvoir Park Forest and Murlough NNR, Down. There have been claims of this moth from several other localities in the early 1990s but some of these need verification.

Ecology: This autumn-flying moth is associated with heathland and woodland. Adults appear frequently at light in moderate numbers. The larvae can be found from April to June on birch Betula spp. and Alder Alnus glutinosa. It overwinters as an egg.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1797 Agassiz number: 70.109

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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