Garden Carpet

  • Garden Carpet
    Garden Carpet

Scientific name: Xanthorhoe fluctuata

April to October. Britain and Ireland. Small to medium-sized, grey-white, with a distinct dark patch on the forewing. Found particularly in gardens, allotments and on rough ground.

This moth can resemble the Galium Carpet, which has more pointed forewings and more distinct white areas between darker forewing bands.  Darker forms of the moth found in the Northern Isles, northern Scotland and urban parts of London resemble the Striped Twin-spot Carpet, but the dark band on the forewings is darker on the leading half in the Garden Carpet.

The adults can be found at rest on walls and fences during the day and is readily disturbed. They fly from dusk. The larvae can be seen from June to late October or November and overwinter as pupae.

Size and Family

  • Family – Carpets and Allies (Larentiines)
  • Small / Medium Sized 
  • Wingspan range - 26-32mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata), Shepherd’s-purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris), wild Horse-radish (Armoracia rusticana), Hairy Bitter-cress, Yellow and White Alyssum and cultivated cabbages.


Found in many habitats including woodland and coastal areas, but favours gardens and allotments where foodplants abound.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Well distributed and common throughout the British Isles, including the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland.

Similar species