70.103 (1750) Water Carpet Lampropteryx suffumata ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

Resident. Common.
Flight period

The earliest notification of this species is published in Stephens (1829) with the Rev. William Little recording it at Raehills (VC72).
Lennon (1863) had found it near Gasstown (VC72). Gordon (1919) found it very common at Corsemalzie, flying along woodland edges, in damp areas, and also coming to light. Earliest date was 26th April 1912. He gives a latest date of 9th August 1906, but this is likely to be an error as this is strictly a spring species.
Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn, Tynron (VC72) and Kirkconnell Flow (VC73). Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43.
During 1974-93 six of the Rothamsted stations amassed 170 records, with Caerlaverock not recording it. From 1992 to 2010 the remaining 240 records were mainly from the regularly trapped sites at Kirkton, Durisdeer, Forest Moor and especially Cally Woods, with other sites contributing, but it was found to be scarce in Wigtownshire, with just Bargrennan and Glenwhan Gardens recording it during that period besides the Forest Moor site already mentioned.
Melanic form piceata Stephens, 1831
The first was noted by Auchencairn Bay (VC73) on 23rd April 2011, with a further record also occurring in that area on the Torr peninsula.

Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a pupa, Larvae are present May to June.
Larval foodplants
Bedstraws and cleavers.
The shiny appearance of the forewings should aid identity.
A wide variety including damp woodland, high moorland, hedgerows and gardens.
Recorders' notes
Water Carpet is a spring moth only, April and May. This species is easily confused with The Phoenix and Small Phoenix, so care needed in June especially.
© Keith Naylor, Mersehead RSPB, 7 May 2004

Local distribution map

The gadget spec URL could not be found

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
 Powered by the  NBN Gateway