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[All pictures of garden wildlife on this page are thumbnails. Click on any thumbnail for a large format to be displayed.]

Geometer Worms (Geometridae)

Some families of moths are not named after their imago (=the adults that can fly), but after their caterpillars. Moths and butterflies go through the full circle of life of an insect: egg, caterpillar, pupa and imago. Eggs and pupae are rather indistinct with no striking and unique features that can be used to name the animals. Caterpillars and imagos are in motion and are thus fascinating to men than eggs and pupas. Some moths are named after their caterpillars because these are even more interesting than the adults. This certainly applies to the Geometer Worms: they can erect themselves to look just like a twig. And when they move they bring the back of the body towards the front, forming a kind of curl. Then they lift the front up to the position that they form one straight line. There are plenty of them in almost all gardens, but many are small and difficult to detect. In this family of moths we find a few species that fly in late fall and, unless it's too cold, even in winter.



March Moth Alsophila aescularia

Curiously shaped Geometer, looking rather like an overgrown moth. More...


Blotched Emerald Comibaena bajularia

Blotched, unlike other green Geometers. More...


Common Emerald Hemithea aestivaria

No blotches on the main part of the wings, but the fringes are blotched. More...


Large Emerald Geometra papilionaria

A very big species. The usual lines are replaced bij dots. More...


Light Emerald Campaea margaritata

This green species quickly turns into white. The green and white line is characteristic More...


Barred Red Hylaea fasciaria

In Britain usually dull red and not green. The green variation is about as common as the red one on the continent, though. More...


Brimstone Moth Opisthograptis luteolata

Such colourful the Brimstone Butterfly will give you no problems identifying it. More...


Swallow-tailed Moth Ourapteryx sambucaria

The common name of this species tells you about its striking feauters. More...


Blood Vein Timandra comae

The blood vein in the Blood Vein runs from one wing tip to the other wing tip. More...


Maiden's Blush Moth Cyclophora punctaria

Speckled species with blushes and a dark line, not beginning at the tip of the wing but somewhere half way the wing. More...


Birch Mocha Cyclophora albipunctata

The delicate pattern on the Birch Mocha makes it a beautiful Geometer. More...


Peacock Moth Macaria notata

The notch in the forewing has an unclear brownish colour. More...


Sharp-angled Peacock Macaria alternata

The notch in this forewing has a thick almost black colour. More...


Tawny-barred Angle Macaria liturata

The forewing of this species shows a broad orange band. More...


Common Wave Cabera exanthemata

Similar to the Common White Wave, but the outer line is slightly bended and not straight. More...


Common White Wave Cabera pusaria

Similar to the Common Wave but the outer line runs straight. More...


Clouded Silver Lomographa temerata

It is easy to identify this species, even though the cloud varies in size. More...


Clouded Border Lomaspilis marginata

An all white species with a very variable darkly marked border. More...




Riband Wave Idaea aversata

Not an easy species this Wave, but it is the biggest of them all. More...


Small Dusty Wave Idaea seriata

Another difficult species, but it is small and dusty. More...


Single-dotted Wave Idaea dimidiata

On the upper wing is a single dot and some dark markings near the inner wing tip. More...


Dwarf Cream Wave Idaea fuscovenosa

Has four black dots: one on each wing and usually the base of the leading edge of the forewing is brownish. More...


Scorched Carpet Ligdia adustata

Unmistakable species: beautiful and mind the light wing tip. More...


Garden Carpet Moth Xanthorhoe fluctuata

Species with many variations. The band in the middle of the wing starts off keenly, but ends in one big deception. More...


Beautiful Carpet Mesoleuca albicillata

Beautiful species. There are hardly any similar species around. More...


Flame Carpet Xanthorhoe designata

Very variable species. Both reddish band and black dot may be missing. More...


Spruce Carpet Thera variata and Thera britannica

These two species can only be told apart by close examination of the genitals. More...


Grey Pine Carpet Thera obeliscata

When it is reddish it is this species. When it is grey it is either this species or a Spruce Carpet. Difficult to tell, actually. More...


Common Marbled Carpet Chloroclysta truncata

Often looks like it is very mildewed. More...


Green Carpet Colostygia pectinataria

It may be called "green", it's often not. More...


Spinach Eulithis mellinata

The Spinach is a rather vaguely marked species. More...


Red Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe ferrugata
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe spadicearia

The Red Twin-spot Carpet and the Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet can not be told apart as a rule. More...


Shoulder Stripe Anticlea badiata

The combination of markings and colours soon gives this one away. More...


Barberry Carpet Pareulype berberata

Identification of this species is easy. You'll find it mainly in parks and gardens. More...


Small Rivulet Perizoma alchemillata

Extremely small Geometer reaching a wingspan of no more than 25 mm! More...


Bordered Pug Eupithecia succenturiata

The big white part of the wings makes this one of the easiest species to identify of all pugs. More...


Freyer's Pug Eupithecia intricata

Extremely difficult species to identify, for it is very variable. The black spot on the wing helps a bit. It is not a dot but rather a very short line. More...


Dwarfpug Eupithecia tantillaria

Numerous white lines (but alas not always visible) and the size (this is one of the smallest pugs) should help in identifying this one. More...


Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata

Usually the vein running near the inner edge of the wing is ochreous or brownish in this species. More...


Golden-rod Pug Eupithecia virgaureata

The Golden-rod Pug is usually more lively marked than the very similar Grey Pug. More...


Double-striped Pug Gymnoscelis rufifasciata

One of the very few pugs showing reddish brown patches. Most others are greyish or greyish brown. More...


Green Pug Rhinoprora rectangulata

There is a clearly marked band on the underside of the forewing, something not seen in the V-pug. More...


V-pug Chloroclystis v-ata

Like the name suggests, there's a clear V-shaped marking in black on the forewings. More...


Dentated Pug Anticollix sparsata

A big pug with a notched hindwing. More...


Dingy Shell Euchoeca nebulata

Usually the Dingy Shell keeps its wings fully upright. More....


Early Thorn Selenia dentaria

Usually the Early Thorn keeps its wings fully upright too. More...


Purple Thorn Selenia tetralunaria

Easily identified by the half moon figure in the forewing, best seen at the underside of the wing. More...


Canary-shouldered Thorn Ennomos alniaria

The extremely hairy, bright yellow body makes this species umistakable. More...


Large Thorn Ennomos autumnaria

The females are the biggest thorns around and both males and females have a dark spot near the tip of the wing. More...


September Thorn Ennomos erosaria

The September Thorn is not canary yellow and has no dark spots in the tip of the wing. More...


Feathered Thorn Colotois pennaria

One look at the enormous feathery antennae will do. More...


Scalloped Oak Crocallis elinguaria

Identifiable by the black dot and the resting pose: the wings are held horizontally but do not touch the surface the insect is sitting on. More...


Pale Brindled Beauty Phigalia pilosaria

This dull and owlet like geometer isn't an easy species to put a name on. More...


Small Brindled Beauty Apocheima hispidaria

Looks like the Pale Brindled Beauty, but there is some grey near the edge of the wings. More...


Oak Beauty Biston strataria

Heavily built, big geometer, on the wing in early spring. Males and females differ a lot. More...


Peppered Moth Biston betularia

May look peppered indeed, but many animals are just dark and almost unmarked (melanism). More...


Scarce Umber Moth Agriopis aurantiaria

The beautiful golden brown colour is outstanding. More...


Spring Usher Agriopis leucophaearia

Extremely variable species. So be sure to look at the various pictures of this species. More...


Dotted Border Agriopis marginaria

Has a row of dots near but not on the edge of the forewings. More...


Mottled Umber Moth male Erannis defoliaria

The most variable of all Geometers. Sometimes beautifully and clearly marked sometimes entirely unmarked. More...


Mottled Umber Moth female Erannis defoliaria

The females are entirely wingless. They do not even have the stumps so characteristic of most other winter geometers. More...


Willow Beauty Peribatodes rhomboidaria

More contrasting than other beauties. More...


Pale Oak Beauty Hypomecis punctinali

There is a little circle on the lower wing which makes distinguishable. More...


Engrailed Moth Ectropis crepuscularia

Unique fork-shape markings on the forewings give this one away. More...


Common Heath Ematurga atomaria

Common on heath and extremely variable species. More...


Winter Moth Operophtera brumata

Almost identical to the Northern Winter Moth, but usually slightly darker and never shiny. More...


Northern Winter Moth Operophtera fagata

The twin of Winter Moth, but always a bit shiny, a little silky. More...


Autumnal Moth Epirrita autumnata

Variable and almost impossible to tell apart from similar species. More...


November Moth Epirrita dilutata

In spite of the name you can find it mainly in October. More...



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