Peppered Moth Biston betularia

Geometridae » Ennominae

Peppered Moth Biston betularia

70.252 BF1931 Peppered Moth Biston betularia (Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 35-60mm. Forewing length 22-28mm. The rural form is white peppered with black spots, and the completely black form (carbonaria) more common in urban areas, and is a favourite in genetic evolutionary studies. Another form f. insularia, is an intermediate form and has black wings with many white peppered spots.

Industrial Melanism: Over the last 200 years the Peppered Moth has been studied in detail due to its evolutionary changes in colouration. During the Industrial Revolution, due to the high levels of pollution at the time, soot being emitted into the atmosphere covered many trees in the towns and cities, obliterating any lichen or tree bark colouration which made the typical black and white Peppered Moth well camouflaged. Many of these forms died out, but the melanic form carbonaria, thrived as it was more suited to the grimy black environmental conditions of the time.

The adult flies May to August, and is attracted to light at night, and rests on trees during the day. Found in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens. Common and widespread. The larva feeds on assorted bushes, trees and plants.

© Pete Hillman July 2017.

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Dusky Thorn Ennomos fuscantaria

Geometridae » Ennominae

Dusky Thorn Ennomos fuscantaria male

The camouflage of this thorn is like autumn leaves. Compare the antennae of the female in the bottom image and the male in the other images, which is feathery.

Dusky Thorn Ennomos fuscantaria male

The adult flies from August to October, and it is found in deciduous woods and gardens. The larva feeds on the leaves of ash.

Dusky Thorn Ennomos fuscantaria male

Dusky Thorn Ennomos fuscantaria male

Dusky Thorn Ennomos fuscantaria female

© Pete Hillman September 2017.

 

September Thorn Ennomos erosaria

Geometridae » Ennominae

September Thorn Ennomos erosaria

Quite similar to other ‘Thorns’ but plainer and with less speckling. Wingspan 30 to 35mm.

The adult flies July to October, and can be seen in woodland, parks and gardens, and is often attracted to light. The larva very much resembles a small twig and feed on oaks, limes, beech and birches.

© Pete Hillman August 2017.

Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata

Geometridae » Ennominae

Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata

A beautiful and rather delicate looking moth, the Clouded Border is unmistakable with its pale wing colour and dark borders which can be quite variable in pattern. Wingspan 30 to 38mm.

The adult flies May to July, and are found in woods, on commons and heaths. Fairly common and widespread. The larva feeds on sallows and poplars.

© Pete Hillman July 2015.

Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria

Geometridae » Ennominae

Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria

The Willow Beauty is a variable moth and may be confused with other ‘Beauty’ species. An important feature in identification is the cross-line on the forewing beyond the middle which is strongly kinked near the leading edge. It is more or less straight in trailing half, and forms a dot on each vein. Wingspan 30 to 38mm.

The adult flies mainly June to August, but in the south a second generation form August to October. Readily comes to light, sometimes in fair numbers. Found in woodland, hedgerows, parks and gardens. Common and widespread, and resident.

The larva feeds on a range of broadleaved trees, shrubs and climbers, including privet, Honeysuckle and birches.

© Pete Hillman May 2014.

Light Emerald Campaea margaritata

Geometridae » Ennominae

Wingspan 30-40mm. Forewing length 18-26mm.

Light Emerald Campaea margaritata

70.283 (BF1961) Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria (Linnaeus, 1761)

The beauty of this moth is unmistakable. With its pale-green ground colour, which fades to white within a few days, and its distinctive darker green and white stripes running through hindwings and forewings, and added smaller straight lines on forewings, it is a very attractive species.  To add, it has bright-red hooked wingtips. Similar to Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambu) when faded, and Small Emerald (Hemistola chrysoprasaria).

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

The adult flies late May to early August in the south, to September in the north. Maybe even partial extended second generations. Comes to light. It is abundant in broadleaved woodland, and where there are other trees like in parks and gardens, hedgerows and scrub. A common and well-distributed species.

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

The larva feeds on a wide range of broadleaved trees and shrubs, including Hawthorn and Blackthorn.

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

© Pete Hillman July 2013 and September 2017.

The Engrailed Ectropis crepuscularia

Geometridae » Ennominae

The Engrailed Ectropis crepuscularia

This can be quite a variable moth with a wingspan of 30 to 40mm. There was some confusion between this species and the Small Engrailed, but DNA profiling have confirmed they are one and the same species.

The adult flies in two generations, from March to April, and then in July and August. Seen in various habitats including gardens and woodland. Common in England and Wales, less so elsewhere. The larva feeds on various trees and shrubs.

© Pete Hillman June 2017.