Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

Geometridae Β» 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

Β© Pete Hillman June 2014.


16 thoughts on “Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

    1. Thank you, Vicki πŸ™‚ Some moths can equal if not better some butterflies in colours and patterns. They are so varied, and quite numerous. To think how many come out after dark is quite amazing.

      Liked by 1 person

  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 πŸ™‚

    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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