The Autumnal Moth (Epirrita autumnata)
is a moth
of the family Geometridae
. It is found throughout the Palearctic
region and the Near East
and has a much wider distribution than its two close relatives (see below). In Lapland, in some years the numerous autumnal moth larvae
may kill square miles of birch forests on mountains.
This species is very similar to the November Moth and Pale November Moth and identification is usually only possible by examining the genitalia. In general this is the least variable of the three with melanic forms occurring less often. It is also usually on the wing earlier in the year, flying in September and October , although the flight seasons of all three species overlap.
The larva feeds on a wide variety of trees and shrubs (see below). The species overwinters as an egg.
- The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range.
Recorded food plants
- E. a. altivagata
- E. a. autumnata
Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to the Moths of the British Isles 1984