Clouded Border (Lomaspilis marginata)

The Clouded Border is a white moth having black or brownish bordered wings. The markings are highly variable and may even be different on either wing in one animal. Still it is easy to identify this species, for there are no similar ones. It is not a very big Geometer, for the wingspan is some 24 to 28 mm only.

The caterpillars are active from June onwards. They are green with four darker green dorsal lines. Some segments may have a yellow ring on either end. The head is greenish with two conspicuous brown lines. The caterpillars remain relatively small, reaching a length of no more than 21 mm. They feed at night and sit motionless on the underside of a leaf during the day. In autumn they drop to the ground, pupate underground and overwinter as such. The moth may appear the summer after, but sometimes two or even three winters are spent in the pupal stage. The larvae are found on poplars, willows and hazel exclusively.

It is likely the Clouded Border has two or even more generations a year, except for Scotland. Therefor it is on the wing for a long time, usually from the end of April to the middle of August. Occasionally it flies during the day, but usually these are animals that were disturbed during their day time break. Normally it is on the wing during the night. It is easily attracted to light, but most of the times it flies off again in dawn. A common, even very common species all over Europe, including most of Britain. Local, but not rare, in Northern Europe, including Scotland and the Hebrides.