Scorched Carpet (Ligia adustata)

It is easy to identify the Scorched Carpet, because there is no similar species. The ground colour of the wings is creamy white. It has very dark shoulders (the basic part of the wings closest to the body), followed by a white patch with small brownish markings. Next is a broad band made up of blacks and dark browns, often with some ochreous accents. The tip of the wing is white with ochreous patches. The first part of the body is very dark as well, followed by a white band. The remainder of the body is quite dark with small grey rings. De legs are dark brown to black with small grey rings. The wingspan is some 25 to 30 mm.

In the south of Britain two generations a year occur. In May and June the eggs of the first generation of caterpillars is being laid. They are hardly ever seen during the day. During the night they regularly hang down from a silk thread, often low in the foodplants. In daylight the caterpillar is a striking animal indeed: bluegreen with yellow rings at the end of each of the segments. Head and legs are dark red. In what is about the middle of the body there is a red spot, with some smaller black and white blotches. This first generation pupates in July and August producing the second generation. The caterpillars of the cecond generation pupate just before winter and hibernate as such. The larva is found on one single foodplant: spindle.

Because of the two generations the Scorched Carpet is seen flying around from late April to the end of August, but the numbers sharply drop by the beginning of July, picking up again in the beginning of August. In northern areas such as Northern England and Scotland there is only one generation flying about in June and July. This species flies in early dusk and is then regularly seen. During the day easily disturbed resting in trees and bushes. Hardly ever comes to light. Quite common in most of Britain, expending its area to the north in recent years. Quite a common species in most other parts of Europe as well.