70.061 (1738) Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata alternata (Müller, 1764)

Status
Resident. Common.
 
Flight period
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History
The earliest notification of this species is published in Stephens (1829) with the Rev. William Little recording it at Raehills (VC72) stating it to be common.
 
The Gordon brothers first recorded this on 6th August 1898. K. J. Morton of Edinburgh (1900) whilst on a visit in July 1899 had found this species in the Monreith area (VC74). Gordon (1919) found it abundant everywhere in Wigtownshire. Earliest date was 3rd May 1912.
 
Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn, Tynron and Castlehill, Dumfries (all VC72). Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43.
 
Records are sparse during 1961-74 with only fifteen recorded, but then the Rothamsted stations were set up in 1974, running until 1993, and producing about 500 records. The Common Carpet lives up to its name and is also widespread across the region.
 
Life cycle
It overwinters as a pupa on the ground in a cocoon. Larvae are present June and July, again, September to October.
 
There are two generations in an extended flight period with overlap. Adults are active from dusk onwards and are moderately attracted to light. Also, they are easily disturbed from vegetation during the day.
 
Larval foodplants
Larvae feed on bedstraws.
 
Identification
Care needed in separation from other 'carpets,' but once learnt fairly easy.
 
Habitat
A wide range of habitats.
© Keith Naylor, Knowetop Lochs SWT, 1 August 2004

Local distribution map

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Distribution map displays records from the National Biodiversity Network (See terms and conditions).

The following datasets are included:

  • Butterfly Conservation - Macro-moth provisional distribution for the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) from the National Moth Recording Scheme
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