Common Carpet

  • Common Carpet
    Common Carpet

Scientific name: Epirrhoe alternata

May to October. Britain and Ireland. A small to medium-sized moth with white and dark grey pattern. Occurs in hedgerows, woodland, marshes and gardens. Usually found near bedstraws, including cleavers.

Similar to the Galium Carpet, but the central band across the wings is narrower with more distinct markings on the hindwings.  The Wood Carpet is also similar and can be difficult to distinguish from the Common Carpet; the Wood Carpet is slightly larger with one thick white band across the forewing and hindwing, in the Common Carpet this band is divided by a black line.  Also resembles the Sharp-angled Carpet, but with a more irregular central cross band with a less pointed outer projection.

The adults can often be disturbed from low vegetation during the day. They fly from dusk. The caterpillars can be found from June to July and September to October in the south or July to August in the north. The overwinter as pupae in a cocoon on the ground.

Size and Family

  • Family – Carpets and Allies (Larentiines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range 26-28mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Cleavers and bedstraws, including Hedge Bedstraw (Galium mollugo) and Lady’s Bedstraw (Galium verum).

Habitat

Frequents a wide variety of habitats, including calcareous grassland, acid heathland, moorland, fens and marshes, sand-dunes and urban habitats.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Common and well distributed throughout the British Isles, including the Inner Hebrides, Orkney and the Channel Islands.  A paler and generally browner form of the moth is restricted to the Outer Hebrides.

Similar species