Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunaria
Back To (Hufnagel, 1767)
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Geometridae » Ennominae
This species is dark purplish-brown, paler towards the termen, with a dark spot at the apex of the forewing. Both wings are marked with a comma-shaped white mark. The margins of the wings are angular, giving the species a distinctive shape.
Similars The most likely confusion species is Lunar Thorn Selenia lunularia, both share the same posture at rest, but Lunar Thorn has the postmedian line straighter, joining the costa closer to the base of the forewing, and lacks the dark spot near the dorsum on the hindwing of Purple Thorn.
The two broods fly in April and May, then in July and August. Where there is only one generation, the moths are out in May. Larva feeds on various broad-leaved trees, including Hazel, Birch, Alder, Hawthorn and Oak, over-wintering as a pupa.
Occupying woodland, heathland and other bushy areas, this species is fairly common in southern England and Wales, becoming scarcer northward