Moths: Geometer moths in the garden

 

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                                                                          Moths: Geometer moths, Geometridae in the garden     

Subpage butterflies: Owlet moths, noctuidaeLeafrollers, tortrix moths,   Pyralidae, CrambidaeConcealer  moths, Oecophoridae.

Moths 
That moths fly at nigh t is understandable. Nevertheless there are about hundred species, which fly by day and sometimes also are beautiful coloured.
A characteristic of moths are the long
feelers, or antennae are unclubbed at the end.
They are often  comb-like or feathery, or filamentous.
Most moths have no bright colours (brown, grey, white or black) and often with patterns of which help camouflage them during the day.
Moths tend to have stout and hairy bodies to conserve heat during the cooler nights.
There’s a coupling of the forewing with the hindwing.
Unlike moths, butterflies generally hold their wings together above their backs when resting.
 

Family geometer moths (Geometridae) A a large family with 26.000 discribed species.
Catepillars generally have only two pairs of prolegs. They are drawing the hind end up to the thoracic legs to form a loop, and then extending the body forward
 

Subfamily Ennominae.

Tribe Boarmiini.

Engrailed, Small Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Engrailed, Small Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia). Tribe Boarmiini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Colour: white, brown white to brown, brown gray. It is a variable species. The second generation is often slightly smaller and lighter.
The caterpillars have different kinds of deciduous trees as host.
Previously Ectropis bistortata was a separate species. Now most people think there is one species.
February to November. Two, sometimes three generations. Caterpillar: April to September.
They overwinter as pupa in the soil. Wingspan 30-40 mm.
The entire Palearctic region and North America.

Photo 6-6-2011. Engrailed, Small Engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia). Tribe Boarmiini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae). Photo 26-7-2013. Much paler.

German: Zackenbindige Rindenspanner French: Boarmie crépusculaire   

Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria). Tribe Boarmiini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria). Tribe Boarmiini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Colour: light brown to dark gray. The shape of the dark lines on the wings is a characteristic. The male has feathery antennae.
The second generation is often slightly smaller.
The caterpillars have different kinds of deciduous trees and plants as host.
May - September. Sometimes two generations. 
They overwinter as a young caterpillar on the host.
Wingspan 30 - 38 mm.
Europe.

Willow Beauty (Peribatodes rhomboidaria). Tribe Boarmiini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae). Photos 7-7-2013, 15-7-2013.  
German: Rauten-Rindenspanner, Rhombenspanner French: Boarmie rhomboïdale

Tribe Campaeini. 

Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata). Tribe Campaeini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

A pale green spanner, but a few days after hatching the colour changes into greenish-white to white. It is recognizable by the almost straight line on the wings. And by the small red flash on wingtips. (Only shown well on the photo taken in 2013).
The caterpillar is often found in deciduous trees. The butterfly especially on sandy soils.
May - September. Two generations. They hibernate as nearly mature larvae.  
Wingspan 42 - 55 mm.
Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. 

Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae) Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae) Photos 1-9-2007.       Light Emerald (Campaea margaritata). Tribe Campaeini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae). 24-8-2013
German: Perlglanzspanner  French: Céladon

Tribe Cassymini.

Gerande spanner (Lomaspilis marginata). Tribe (Cassymini). Onderfamilie (Ennominae). Familie spanners (Geometridae).

Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata). Tribe (Cassymini). Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).
Not in the garden, but in the dunes about 4 km from our garden.

A day active geometer moth with white wings marked with black blotches around the margins. The spots vary.
Host caterpillars: Especially poplar, willow and hazel.
Wingspan: 30 - 38 mm.
April - end August. Several generations The pupa overwinters in the soil. 

Europe, Asia.

Photo 26-6-2013.

German: Vogelschmeiß-Spanner, Saumspanner, Schwarzrandspanner, Schwarzrand-Harlekin.   French: la Marginée.

Tribe Macariini.

V-Moth (Macaria wauaria). Tribe Macariini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

V-Moth (Macaria wauaria). Tribe Macariini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

The dark spot on light gray forewing forms a V. Along the edge you see three other dark spots.
Host: berry bushes. (Ribes)

May - July. One generation.
They overwinter as eggs on the host plant.
Wingspan 22 - 30 mm.
Europe, Central Asia. 

V-Moth (Macaria wauaria). Tribe Macariini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae). Photos 14-7-2013. 
German: Vauzeichen-Eckflügelspanner, Johannisbeerspanner, Braunes V.

Tribe Ourapterygini.

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria). Tribe Ourapterygini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria). Tribe Ourapterygini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Striking is the pointed "tail" on the termen of the hindwing with two dark spots. First they are lemon yellow, later the colour changes into white. The forewings have two dark transverse lines.
The caterpillar can be found on trees and shrubs like elderberry, clematis and ivy. 
May - Augustus. One generation. The caterpillar overwinters..
Wingspan: 40 - 50 mm.
Europe.

Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria). Tribe Ourapterygini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae). Photos 18-7-2013.   
German: Holunderspanner, Nachtschwalbenschwanz. French: Phalène du sureau, Phalène soufrée.

Subfamily Larentiinae.

Tribe Cidariini.

Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata). Tribe Cidariini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata). Tribe Cidariini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

The forewings are yellow or ocher yellow with a broad irregular rusty brown band. The hind wings are whitish.
The caterpillar can be found on wild roses (like dog rose)  and cultivated roses.
It overwinters as an egg on the host plant.

June - July. One generation.
Wingspan: 20 - 25 mm.
Europe en Central Asia.

Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata). Tribe Cidariini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae). Photos 28-7-2013

Common Marbled Carpet (Dysstroma truncata) formely Chloroclysta truncata Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Common Marbled Carpet (Dysstroma truncata) formely Chloroclysta truncata. Tribe Cidariini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

A variable geometer moth. The middle section of the forewings can be for the most part red, white or yellow white. The moth on the photo is grey.
The hindwings are always pale grey
The caterpillar lives on many different plants like birch, rumex species, bramble and ling. The young caterpillar overwinters.
Wingspan 32 - 39 mm
April - September. Two generations.
Palearctic, North America.

Common Marbled Carpet (Dysstroma truncata) formely Chloroclysta truncata Family geometer moths (Geometridae)   German: Winkelband-Blattspanner. French: Cidarie roussâtre.

The Phoenix (Eulithis prunata). Tribe Cidariini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

The Phoenix (Eulithis prunata). Tribe Cidariini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

A beautifully marked, brown geometer moth. In rest its abdomen is curved upwards like the Pyralis. 
Host plants: Ribes family, currant and hawthorn. But other trees and shrubs.

June - August. One generation.
It hibernates as an egg.
Wingspan: 30 - 37 mm..
Europe.

Photo 28-6-2012.
German: Dunkelbraune Haarbüschelspanner, Brauner Haarbüschelspanner

Tribe Eupitheciini.  

Wormwood Pug (Eupithecia absinthiata). Tribe Eupitheciini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).   

Wormwood Pug (Eupithecia absinthiata). Tribe Eupitheciini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).   

The warm brown front wing of the woodworm pug has along the front edge dark spots and a large dark spot near the front edge. The smaller Eupithecia goossensiata is now seen as the same species. 
Wingspan 21 to 23 mm.
Moths: April to September. One generation.
Caterpillar: July to October. It overwinters as a pupa in the leaf litter.
Much of the Palaearctic region and North America.
Host plants: yarrow, mugwort, Hemp-agrimony, ragwort, goldenrod and heather (forma goossensiata). 
Photo: 27-9-2012.
German: Kreuzkraut-Blütenspanner.  

Wormwood Pug (Eupithecia absinthiata). caterpillar Tribe Eupitheciini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).    Photo 4-8-2010. On ragwort. 

Double-striped Pug  (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Double-striped Pug  (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) Tribe Eupitheciini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

A nice little geometer moth.  I see it often on the window.
Wingspan: 15 - 19 mm.
It flies from March to October. In three or four generations.
They fly from the afternoon until midnight. But they mostly  fly in the twilight.
A huge range of herbaceous plants, shrubs and trees, including ling, Clematis vitalba, hemp-agrimony, erica and laurel.
It hibernates as a pupa.
Palearctic region, the Near East and North Africa.

 Double-striped Pug  (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)   Photos 26-3-2011  German: Rotgebänderte Blütenspanner  French: Phalène de l'olivier, fausse eupithécie

Tribe Operophterini.  

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata). Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata).  Tribe Operophterini. Subfamily Larentiinae.Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

When most of the moths has disappeared, the winter moth flies at night throughout the winter from October to January. These moths are the males, because the females have no wings.
The female crawl up tree-trunks to await the arrival of males. After mating, females lay their eggs in the tree. The adults die. The caterpillars are in spring an important food source for great tits. The eggs hibernate.
The caterpillars can spin a thread. So the wind can transport it to another tree. (
called "ballooning," ) In June they use the thread to descend to the ground. There it pupates. At the end of the Autumn the adults appear.
The caterpillars will feed on any tree or shrub and can be a pest in apple orchards. Formaly there were bound sticky strings around the trunk. When the females crawled up, they sicked to the trunk.
A common species in Europe. 

Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata). Family geometer moths (Geometridae).
   Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata). Family geometer moths (Geometridae).    Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata). caterpillar Family geometer moths (Geometridae).     Photos females 10-12-2011 Kleine Wintervlinder (Operophtera brumata) vrouwtje Familie spanners (Geometridae)  Kleine Wintervlinder (Operophtera brumata) vrouwtje Familie spanners (Geometridae)  
German: Kleine Frostspanner  French: cheimatobie, Cheimatobie hiemale, phalène hiémale, petite phalène hiémale

Tribe Perizomini.

Small Rivulet (Perizoma alchemillata). Tribe Perizomini. Subfamily Larentiinae.Family geometer moths (Geometridae).e).

Small Rivulet (Perizoma alchemillata). Tribe Perizomini. Subfamily Larentiinae.Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

The front wing is a dark brown with an irregular white band. It looks like the larger Rivulet (Perizoma affinitata).
The caterpillar can be found on plants like ordinary Hemp-nettle, purple deadnettle.

The pupa overwinters in the ground.
May - August. One generation.
Wingspan: 14 - 18 mm.
Europe.

  

Tribe Xanthorhoini.  

Yellow shell moth (Camptogramma bilineata). Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Yellow shell moth (Camptogramma bilineata). Tribe Xanthorhoini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

A beautiful golden geometer moth with fine brown wavy lines on the wings.
In the Netherlands it is especially be found  in areas with a sandy soil.
It flies by day.
In mid-May - early September. Two generations pro year
The caterpillars hibernate and feed on a variety of low-growing plants, including common chickweed and Persicaria.
Wingspan: 20 - 25 mm.
Europe, North America and Asia..

It is variable in colour, as you can see at the bottom photo.
Yellow shell moth (Camptogramma bilineata). Family geometer moths (Geometridae). Yellow shell moth (Camptogramma bilineata). Family geometer moths (Geometridae).  German: Ockergelbe Blattspanner, Brennesselspanner, Löwenzahnspanner   French: Brocatelle d'Or

Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata).  Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata).  Tribe Xanthorhoini. Subfamily Larentiinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Because of the white paint on the wall, it was very difficult to see on a distance.
It usually feeds on crucifers: both cultivated brassicas and wild species such as flixweed, garlic mustard.
It flies in two generations from April  to September and hibernates as a pupa.
Wingspan: 27 - 31 mm.

The whole Palearctic region, the Near East and North Africa.

German: Garten-Blattspanner  French: Phalène ondée

Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata).  Family geometer moths (Geometridae) Small photo 30-8-2010.


Subfamily Sterrhinae. 

Tribe Sterrhini.

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

This moth I found in July in my greenhouse. When I let it out, I photographed it through the glass. It didn't move when I took more photos. 
Besides this form with a dark band, there are also moths with a light band. A clear dot on both the front and rear wings.
Host plants: Dandelion, dock, etc.
June to October. Two generations.
Wingspan: 30 to 35 mm.
The caterpillar do you find in July-May on many herbaceous plants. The young caterpillar overwinters on the ground in the litter layer.
Europe.

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae) Riband Wave (Idaea aversata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae) Photos 4-7-2009.

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata ab. remutata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata ab. remutata) Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae)

This is the form with a light band. (remutata) This form I see most in the garden. (often on a window frame)   

Michael Stemmer thanks for your advice

Riband Wave (Idaea aversata ab. remutata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae) Photos 13-7-2009.

German: Breitgebänderte Staudenspanner, Laub-Kleinspanner, Mausohr-Spanner   French: Ruban ondulé

Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata) Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

A brownish yellow to brownish white geometer moth. The outer area of the forewing towards the trailing corner is darkened. The spots of the moth in this picture aren't very dark. 
They love damp locations. I found this moth at the edge of the pond.
The caterpillar hibernates. It can be found on various herbaceous plants.
June - August. One generation, sometimes two generations.
Wingspan: 15 - 20 mm.
Palearctic region and North America.  

German: Braungewinkelter Zwergspanner. French: la Phalène écussonnée.

Least Carpet (Idaea rusticata, syn Idaea vulpinaria). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Least Carpet (Idaea rusticata, syn Idaea vulpinaria). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Rare in the Netherlands. Mainly in areas with sandy soil.
A small whitish geometer moth with on fore wings gray black band. On the hind wings this band is much lighter. Near the head on the front wings a gray-brown spot.
The caterpillar feeds on dead leaves and moss.
June - October. Two generations. The caterpillar overwinters.
Wingspan: 19 - 21 mm.
Europe.

Least Carpet (Idaea rusticata, syn Idaea vulpinaria). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).  Photos 18-7-2013.  

Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).

A light gray to brownish gray geometer moth, which is entirely speckled and with a dark spot in the center of the fore wing and hind wing.
The caterpillar can be found on many different plants (such as ivy and dandelion). They feed on wilted and withered leaves.
I often see them on the window frame. But they fly after sunset.
 
May - September. Two generations.
Wingspan: 19 - 21 mm.
Europe, North Asia.

Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).  Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata). Tribe Sterrhini. Subfamily Sterrhinae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae). German: Graue Zwergspanner (Idaea seriata), Kleinspanner. 

Caterpillars.

Subfamily Ennominae.

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)  Caterpillar  

Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria). Tribe Bistonini. Subfamily Ennominae. Family geometer moths (Geometridae).  Caterpillar    
Like for example the winter moth, the female can not fly. It has only rudimentary wings. The male is distinguished by the row of black dots along the back edge of the wings. The colour and markings are variable. 
Wingspan 36 to 42 mm.
Moth: February to April. One generation.
Caterpillar: July to October. Tensioner overwinters as a pupa in the soil.
The caterpillar (April - June)  has many host plants: Prunus, birch, oak, etc. The caterpillar resembles the Agriopis aurantiaria but has shorter hair.
Europe  German: Graugelbe Breitflügelspanner  

 Dotted Border (Agriopis marginaria) Family geometer moths (Geometridae)  Caterpillar   Photo 23-5-2011 
I have no pictures of the moth. Here you can find many photos. Dotted Border.  

Tribe Caberini.

Common White Wave (Cabera pusaria) caterpillar

Common White Wave (Cabera pusaria). Tribe Caberini. Subfamily Ennominae.Family geometer moths (Geometridae)                          

The Common White Wave has three parallel gray lines running over the wings. Sometimes one or two lines are missing.
Caterpillar host plants: various deciduous trees.
Wingspan 25-32 mm. 
Moth: May to September. Two generations.
Caterpillar: May-June. It overwinters as a pupa in a silk between the fallen leaves.

 Common White Wave (Cabera pusaria) caterpillar Photos 25-8-2010. In goldenrod.
I have no pictures of the moth. Here you can find many photos Common White Wave. 

German: Weißstirn-Weißspanner  

A beautiful site with much information:   The Garden Safari

All geometer moths of the Netherlands on "Vlindernet".
All geometer moths of the Netherlands on "Waarneming".    


 Nederlands / Dutch                                                                      

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Subpage butterflies:  Owlet moths, noctuidaeLeafrollers, tortrix moths,   Pyralidae, Crambidae Concealer  moths, Oecophoridae.                                                                                                                                

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