Larentiines (Larentiinae) are a sub-family of the Geometer Moths (Geometridae). This sub-family consists of a number of larger genera and many small mono-typical genera.
Yellow Shell – 2017 (NL)
The Yellow Shell (Camptogramma bilineata) is easily recognizable due to the unique intricate and wavy pattern resembling that of some seashells. The ground color is golden yellow with many fine brown corrugated transverse lines. On the forewing, the median lines are clearly visible due to their bright white color. The female is easily recognized by the dark brown median bands. The Yellow Shell flies in one and sometimes two generations from May to the end of August and the wingspan is 20-25mm. Host plant: Cleavers and other bedstraws. Dutch name: Gestreepte goudspanner. Frisian name: Strepe goudspanner.
The V-pug – 2015 (NL)
With its black ‘V’ in the post-median line near the termen, the V-pug (Chloroclystis v-ata) lives up to its name. The green color of the forewing changes to light yellow-brown as they age. In contrast, the hindwing is pale grey with obscure transversely darker striae. The abdomen is green with two parallel rows of black dots and a black band. The flight period is from April to October in two sometimes three generations and the wingspan is 14-19mm. Host plant: Elder and Brambles. Dutch name: V-dwergspanner. Frisian name: V-Dwerchspanner.
Barred Yellow – 2017 (NL)
The Barred Yellow (Cidaria fulvata) is very recognizable because of its bright orange-yellow forewing and the irregularly shaped red-brown median band. There is a light spot on the apex. This moth flies from one generation from May to August and has a wingspan of 20-25mm. Host plant: Wild and cultivated roses. Dutch name: Oranje bruinbandspanner. Frisian name: Oranje brúnbânspanner.
Green Carpet – 2017 (NL)
The Green Carpet (Colostygia pectinataria) is best recognized by the green ground color, the three black spots along the costa and the two black spots along the dorsum. The green color of the fresh specimen fades to yellowish, whitish or even pinkish-white with age. The dark cross bands are corrugated and edged with a white thin line. The flight period is from April to October in two generations with a wingspan of 24-30mm. Host plant: Hedge bedstraw and other bedstraws. Dutch name: Kleine groenbandspanner. Frisian name: Lytse grienbânspanner.
Common Marbled Carpet – 2020 (NL)
The Common Marbled Carpet (Dysstroma truncata) has a very varied appearance. The variation most easily recognized has a noticeable large orange-brown or reddish-brown spot on the midfield of the forewing. The other variants consist of shades of colors and white, sharp-toothed wavy lines. The base is orange-brown, the midfield light grey with a striking dark zone that extends from the costa to the center of the wing and a dark zone along the termen. The hindwing is grey. The wingspan is 24-30mm and the flight period runs from early May to October in two generations. Host plant: Various shrubs and herbaceous plants. Dutch name: Schimmelspanner. Frisian name: Skimmelspanner.
Broken-barred Carpet – 2008 (NL)
The Broken-barred Carpet (Electrophaes corylata) flies in one generation from May through July. Specifically is the relatively narrow and irregularly edged dark median band on the forewing. Between the dark median band and the dark base, there is a zone that is light brown in the middle and white around the edges. The wingspan is 22-30mm. Host plant: Various deciduous trees and shrubs. Dutch name: Kleine wortelhoutspanner. Frisian name: –
Common Carpet – 2017 (NL)
A carpet which is reasonably recognizable despite the many variations is the Common Carpet (Epirrhoe alternate). The adults can often be disturbed from low vegetation during the day. Over the forewing, you can see a pattern of dark grey and brownish grey bands. The darkest median band has one clearly protruding blunt dot on the outside. A thin grey line runs through the center of white bands on either side of the median band. The wingspan is 26-28mm. This geometer moth flies in two generations from May to September. Host plant: Cleavers and bedstraws. Dutch name: Gewone bandspanner. Frisian name: Gewoane bânspanner.
Small Argent and Sable – 2020 (NL)
Although the markings of the Small Argent and Sable (Epirrhoe tristata) are very variable, the pattern of black to sometimes brownish dark grey and narrower white bands distinguishes it from other species. This drawing gives the moth a rather colorful appearance. White transverse lines are often visible in the black bands. In the band in the marginal area is a serrated wavy line, which may contain a small arrow-like spot on both the fore- and hindwing. This spot sometimes forms a spearhead together with the outwardly protruding white median band. This geometer moth derives its English name from this combination. The post-median band is always at least as dark as the median band and that at the wing base. A row of small dark dots runs through the center of the white bands. The fringes are clearly checkered. The flight period is from mid-April to September and the wingspan is 24-26mm. Host plant: Bedstraw. Dutch name: Bonte bandspanner. Frisian name: Bûnte bânspanner.
November Moth – 2018 (NL)
A moth that occurs later in the year is the November Moth (Epirrita dilutata). The forewing is grey or brownish in color and not shiny. The forewing has a pattern of mainly narrow, alternating light and dark-colored bands with black cross lines and veins. The center spot is faint and has the shape of an oval or a small stripe. A protrusion of the irregular inner edge of the dark outer cross band touches the center spot. The inner edge of the transverse band has the shape of a horizontal three. The wingspan is 38-44mm. The flight period is in one generation from late September to late November. Host plant: Variety of trees and shrubs. Dutch name: Herfstspanner. Frisian name: Hjerstspanner.
The Phoenix – 2017 (NL)
The Phoenix (Eulithis prunata) is a recognizable drawn and brown moth. The most recognizable is the strongly wavy outer edge of the wide dark median band. At rest, the abdomen is curled upward like its other relatives. The wingspan is 30-35mm and with this one of the largest of the Larentiines. He flies in one generation from June to the end of August. Host plant: Black Currant, Red Currant, and Hawthorn. Dutch name: Wortelhoutspanner. Frisian name: Woartelhoutspanner.
The Spinach – 2018 (NL)
A moth that stands out very much because of the way it keeps its wings in a dormant state is The Spinach (Eulithis mellinata). The wings are held off the ground above the body with the hindwing curling slightly upwards. The base of this yellow-brown moth, the edges of the middle band, and the triangular spot adjacent to the slash in the apex are tinted brown. The fringes of the wings are checkered yellow and brown. The central band has a sharply pointed indentation on the inside and a single-pointed protrusion on the outside, both pointing slightly toward the costa. The flying period is in one generation from May to August and the wingspan is 27-30mm. Host plant: Blueberry and Currant. Dutch name: Bessentakvlinder. Frisian name: –
Plain Pug – 2017 (NL)
The Plain Pug (Eupithecia simpliciata) is a yellow-brown pug with a fairly wide rounded forewing. On the forewing, you can see a clear, light wide transverse line and a wavy line. The dot in the middle is small but often easy to discover. This pug flies in one generation from May to October with a wingspan of 21-23mm. Host plant: Goosefoot, Sea Wormwood, and Mugwort. Dutch name: Meldedwergspanner. Frisian name: Mealjedwerchspanner.
White-spotted Pug – 2017 (NL)
The White-spotted Pug (Eupithecia tripunctaria) is a moth that can be recognized by the three white dots along the termen of the forewing. Furthermore, this brownish dark grey moth has hardly markings. The veins are often slightly darker than the ground color. Its habitat is mainly damp and well-wooded area. It flies in two generations from March to September with a wingspan of 17-21mm. Host plant: Hogweed, and Wild Angelica. Dutch name: Schermbloemdwergspanner. Frisian name: –
Wormwood Pug – 2017 (NL)
The Wormwood Pug (Eupithecia absinthiata) has a reddish-brown or yellow-brown forewing. There are dark spots along the costa. The central spot is clearly visible and a white spot is visible at the tornus. The flight time is from April to mid-September in one generation and a wingspan of 21-23mm. Host plant: Yarrow, and Ragwort. Dutch name: Egale dwergspanner. Frisian name: Egale dwerchspanner.
Common Pug – 2018 (NL)
A pug that is variable in colour is the Common Pug (Eupithecia vulgata). The most characteristic is the very small, but usually present central spot on the reddish-brown forewing and the transverse lines formed by the black and white spots on the veins. Also characteristic is the white wavy line and the white spot at the tornus. Black spots are clearly visible along the side of the abdomen. The flight period is from March to October in two generations and has a wingspan of 15-18mm. Host plant: Sallow and Hawthorn. Dutch name: Gewone dwergspanner. Frisian name: –
Lime-speck Pug – 2018 (NL)
A very striking and easily identifiable moth is the Lime-speck Pug (Eupithecia centaureata). It is thought that this species may resemble a bird-dropping and thus reduces attraction to predators. The predominantly white pug has a clear short but intense black stripe on the forewing at the costa. This is often located directly against the grey-black spot. Near the termen is a pale brown band with a zigzagging edge and a white band on either side. The abdomen is speckled white and brown with a bright light blue shimmer in it. The wingspan is 16-20mm. The flight period is from mid-April to November in two and sometimes three generations. Host plant: flowers of a range of low-growing plants. Dutch name: Zwartvlekdwergspanner. Frisian name: Swartflekdwerchspanner.
Maple Pug – 2018 (NL)
The identification of pugs is always a challenge. I also had the necessary help for this Maple Pug (Eupithecia inturbata). The forewing has a brownish-grey ground color, often with a slightly ocher yellow color, especially in the midfield. The dark central spot is often clearly visible. The wavy lines are mainly along the dorsum and are especially visible at the tornus. There are three dark spots in the marginal area, one in the apex, one right next to it, and one slightly larger at the tornus. The black broken fringe line is always clearly visible. The flying period is in one generation from July to September and the wingspan is 13-18mm. Host plant: Field Maple. Dutch name: Esdoorndwergspanner. Frisian name: Eskdoarndwerchspanner.
Freyer’s Pug – 2019 (NL)
The Freyer’s Pug (Eupithecia intricata) is mainly characterized by the many corrugated transverse lines in the middle of the forewing, which bend inwards just before the costa and are clearly thickened there. The central spot is clearly visible and slightly elongated. You often see black spots on the veins. The base color of the wing varies from sandy brown to greyish brown. At rest, the abdomen is separate from the wings. On the base of the abdomen, you see a thin black cross band. The wingspan is 20-24mm. The flight period is from late April to early August in one, sometimes two, generations. Host plant: Juniper and Cypress. Dutch name: Streepjesdwergspanner. Frisian name: –
Angle-barred Pug – 2020 (NL)
Despite its solid brownish grey color, the Angle-barred Pug (Eupithecia innotata) is easily distinguishable from other brownish-grey species by its elongated forewing. The distinction can be clearly seen by the post-median line that makes a sharp angle next to the central spot and points like an arrow to the apex. The other transverse lines, in case they are clearly visible, also stand out because of the sharp angle. The black central spot is long and thin. In the marginal area, there is a light wavy line that is widened at the tornus ending in a small light spot. The hindwing usually does not protrude far below the forewing and the abdomen is often curled upwards. The flying period is from February to October in two generations and the wingspan is 21mm. Host plant: Sea-buckthorn. Dutch name: Angle-barred Pug. Frisian name: –
Barred Straw – 2017 (NL)
The Barred Straw (Gandaritis pyraliata) has a specific resting position where the hindwing disappears completely under the forewing. The light-yellow wings show little drawing. The middle band is slightly darker with a light brown blotch on both sides. Small V-shaped spots can be seen just outside the median band. The Barred Straw flies in one generation from June to August with a wingspan of 28-33mm. Host plant: Bedstraw. Dutch name: Gele agaatspanner. Frisian name: –
Double-striped Pug – 2018 (NL)
A notable relative of the pugs is the Double-striped Pug (Gymnoscelis rufifasciata). The black of the post-median line, running from the costa and weakens halfway, resembles an inward-pointing comb. Some specimens have a striking reddish pattern along the brownish or whitish forewing. Strongly marked moths often have black spots in the apex. The flight period is from February to November in three, sometimes four generations and the wingspan is 15-19mm. This species is often found indoors which was also the case for me. I found him in the attic where the window is sometimes open. Host plant: Gorse and Holly. Dutch name: Zwartkamdwergspanner. Frisian name: –
Winter Moth – 2018 (NL)
A moth that can be observed quite late in the year and is able to cope with freezing temperatures is the Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata). The special feature of this moth is that the male does have wings and the female has only small stubby wings and therefore cannot fly. To attract a mate, the female will crawl up a tree trunk and give off pheromones. The wings of the male are pale to dark grey-brown and on the forewing an often unclear, slightly dark middle band. The wingspan is 22-28mm. They come well towards light, so you often see them sitting on the wall near outdoor lamps. The flight period is in one generation from October to, depending on the temperature, mid-December. Host plant: Broadleaved trees and shrubs. Dutch name: Kleine wintervlinder. Frisian name: Lytse winter flinter.
Green Pug – 2017 (NL)
Particularly recognizable for its fresh specimen by its green color is the Green Pug (Pasiphila rectangulata). The forewing has many dark parallel lines at the top. The most characteristic is the presence of the median transverse lines, the outer one of which has a zigzagging especially in the front half of the wing and borders on a black band and one row of black dots. The Green Pug flies in one generation from April to August with a wingspan of 16-22mm. Host plant: Apples and Pear. Dutch name: Groene dwergspanner. Frisian name: Griene dwerchspanner.
Dark Spinach – 2009 (NL)
The Dark Spinach (Pelurga comitata) has a brownish-yellow or light brown forewing that is broad and has a rounded shape. The median band is darker, consists of several zones that become lighter and lighter in color towards the middle and has a clear bulge in the middle. A dark dot is present in the light zone. This geometer moth flies in one generation from June to September. Host plant: Orache and Goosefoot. Dutch name: Kajatehoutspanner. Frisian name: –
Small Rivulet – 2018 (NL)
A carpet whose name suggests that something illicit is happening around here is the Common Hemp Nettle or Small Rivulet (Perizoma alchemillata). It is very similar to The Rivulet (Perizoma affinitata), but is a bit smaller and always has a double, sharp indentation in the whitish transverse band and only a faint median band on the hindwing. The forewing has a ground color of greyish dark brown. A white transverse band with a thin dark central line runs across the wing. The flying period is in one generation from May to the end of August and the wingspan is 14-18mm. Sometimes there is a second generation from late September to October. Host plant: Hemp-nettle and Wild Buckthorn. Dutch name: Hennepnetelspanner. Frisian name: Himpnettelspanner.
Brown Scallop – 2017 (NL)
The Brown Scallop (Philereme vetulata) is a pale, light greyish geometer moth with a lot of faint transverse lines on the forewing and a dot just off-center in the direction of the base. The fringes are grey and brownish-yellow checkered. The specimen I spotted is already quite discolored. This carpet flies in one generation from May to September. Host plant: Buckthorn. Dutch name: Sporkehoutspanner. Frisian name: –
Blue-bordered Carpet – 2020 (NL)
Moth sessions in a place other than your own garden often yield beautiful new species. One of those species is the Blue-bordered Carpet (Plemyria rubiginata). The wings of this geometer moth are white with a large brown spot halfway through the wings at the costa. The base has the same brown color. In the marginal area, a row of grey-blue spots lights up over the entire width in such a way that it looks like a cross band. The apex is colored blue-black to grey. There is also a dark form where the base color of the wing is grey and a brown central band can be seen across the entire wing. The wingspan is 24-30mm and the flight period runs from June to September in one generation. Host plant: Alder and Blackthorn. Dutch name: Blauwrandspanner. Frisian name: –
Small Seraphim – 2020 (NL)
The Small Seraphim (Pterapherapteryx sexalata) is a small grey and white banded moth with a striking grey median band and a number of rusty brown bands on the forewing. The median band is lighter in color at the inner edge of the wing and has a small but distinct black dot in the center close to the inner edge of the band. The male has a small hindwing with a double pleated lobe at the top along the inner edge, which is attached only to the base of the wing and hidden under the forewings when resting. The flying period is from May to August in one generation and sometimes a second generation. The wingspan is 22-26mm. Host plant: Willow. Dutch name: Kleine blokspanner. Frisian name: –
Argent and Sable – 2019 (NL)
Occasionally I visit areas a little further to the south of the country to possibly discover other species. For example, I came across the Argent and Sable (Rheumaptera hastata) near Leuvenum. This is an easy-to-recognize moth due to its distinctive black and white drawing on the fore- and hindwing consisting of an alternation of black and white cross bands. Characteristic are the white “spear points” that project from the wide outer white cross band into the costal area. The area between this cross band and the black field is irregularly scalloped. On the dorsum of the wing is a clear and relatively wide white cross band. The cross bands normally contain relatively few small black dots. The wingspan is 30-38mm. and the flight period is in one generation from late April to early August. Host plant: Birch and Bog Myrtle. Dutch name: Speerpuntspanner. Frisian name: –
(False) Spruce Carpet – 2018 (NL)
It is very difficult to distinguish the False Spruce Carpet (Thera britannica) and the Spruce Carpet (Thera variata). In males, this can only be seen in the shape of the scales of the antennae, which have a saw structure in the False Spruce Carpet and not for the Spruce Carpet. For females, investigation of the genitalia is required. The base color of this moth varies from light grey to brownish to almost black. The median band is usually tinted brown and the edges have an irregular course. The black transverse lines are often strongly drawn. The flight time is from mid-April to late October in two generations and the wingspan is 18-25mm. Host plant: Spruces and Fir. Dutch name: (Schijn) sparspanner. Frisian name: –
Juniper Carpet – 2018 (NL)
Sometimes you do not need a special light to attract moths and an ordinary outdoor lamp is sufficient. The Juniper Carpet (Thera juniperata) just sat on the wall of the garage and was willingly photographed. It is a light brownish-grey moth with a variable median band that is built up with a series of individual spots that are sometimes separated from each other at the tornus. The median band is delimited by black transverse lines that border a lighter zone with a white barrier and contrast sharply against it. The inner side of the middle band has a strikingly sharp notch. In the apex is a row of three, sometimes one or two, consecutive diagonal black stripes that sometimes extend to the median band. The wingspan is 26-29 mm. The flight period is in one generation from late September to mid-November. Host plant: Juniper and conifers. Dutch name: Jeneverbesspanner. Frisian name: –
Grey Pine Carpet – 2019 (NL)
A moth that varies strongly in base color is the Grey Pine Carpet (Thera obeliscata). The base color of the wing ranges from sandy, through various greyish-brown shades to black. The median band varies from reddish-brown, dark brown to greyish brown. This median band is wide at the costa and tapers towards the dorsum. There is a slightly obtuse angle halfway in the inner edge. The female is often somewhat larger than the male and the wingspan is 28-36mm. The flight period runs from the end of April to mid-October in two generations. Host plant: Pine, Spruce, and other conifers. Dutch name: Naaldboomspanner. Frisian name: Nullebeamspanner.
Garden Carpet – 2014 (NL)
The Garden Carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata) resembles the Galium Carpet (Epirrhoe galiata) which has more pointed forewings and more distinctive white areas between darker forewing bands. Adults can be found at rest on walls and fences during the day and are readily disturbed. He has two clearly visible black fields on the forewing along the costa and also near the apex. The field at the base forms one black field with the head and thorax. This carpet flies in two generations from April to October and the wingspan is 26-32mm. Host plant: Garlic Mustard, wild Horse-radish, Hairy Bitter-cress, and cultivated cabbages. Dutch name: Zwartbandspanner. Frisian name: Swartbânspanner.
Red Twin-spot Carpet – 2017 (NL)
The Red Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe spadicearia) typically has a distinct double black spot near the apex. On the top of the forewing, a pale purplish-brown median band is visible with white borders on both sides. Adults rest during the day on shaded rocks, stone walls, bushes, hedges and tree trunks from which it is easily disturbed. Flies from dusk and into the night. The flight time is from April to October in two and sometimes three generations. Host plant: Bedstraws, Ground-ivy and Wild Carrot. Dutch name: Bruine vierbandspanner. Frisian name: Brune fjouwerbânspanner.
Silver-ground Carpet – 2017 (NL)
The Silver-ground Carpet (Xanthorhoe montanata) is characterized by a white to cream colored fore- and hindwing with an irregular median band. The band usually has a white field at the costa with a clearly visible black dot. The variation in the median band coloring is large. Can be easily disturbed from vegetation during the day from grassy ditches and the edges of woodland rides. This geometer moth flies in one generation from May to July. Host plant: Cleavers, Hedge Bedstraw and Primrose. Dutch name: Geoogde bandspanner. Frisian name: Eachbânspanner.
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet – 2017 (NL)
The Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe ferrugata) has a distinctive double spot near the apex. For many years, it was thought the double spot was the way to separate this species from the Red Twin-spot Carpet (Xanthorhoe spadicearia). However, this has recently been proven to be unreliable as a determining factor. The wings are greyish with a black or reddish-brown median band. This carpet flies in two and sometimes three generations from April to early September with a wingspan of 18-22mm. Host plant: Various herbaceous plants. Dutch name: Vierbandspanner. Frisian name: Fjouwerbânspanner.