Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

Geometridae » Ennominae

Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

One would be forgiven for thinking this is a butterfly. This is a large pale lemon moth with distinctive pointed hindwings with two reddish-brown spots on the bases. There are darker cross-lines on the forewings and hindwings. The colours fade as it gets older and it becomes whiter. Wingspan 40 to 50mm.

Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

The adult flies June to mid-August. It is attracted to light, and is found in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens. A fairly common and widespread species. The larva feeds on various broadleaved trees and shrubs.

Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

© Pete Hillman June 2014.

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16 thoughts on “Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

  1. The photos and comments are great! sandyjwhite is so right about the kite/paper look. And lemon IS a lovely colour – totally agree. I’m blogging about Yellow at the moment but I’ll start preparing for a future post about Lemon 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I thought exactly what Sandijwhite said – it looks like paper. Such a beautiful shade of yellow too.
    Am I right in thinking that the antenna of moths are quite different from butterflies? Butterflies seem to have a stalk and a blob, and moths have thicker, sometimes feathered antenna?

    Liked by 1 person

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