The garden carpet (Xanthorhoe fluctuata)' is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is an abundant and familiar species across its huge range which covers the whole Palearctic region, the Near East and North Africa.
It has a wingspan of 27–31 mm. The wings are greyish-white with three irregular black blotches along the costa of the forewing, the largest in the middle. Occasionally, much darker (melanic) forms occur. The species has an exceptionally long flying season spanning two or three broods, and the adults can be seen any time from April to October. It flies throughout the night and is attracted to light - it is one of the species most likely to be seen at lighted windows.
The larva is grey or green with pale, diamond-shaped markings along the back. It usually feeds on crucifers: both cultivated brassicas and wild species such as flixweed, garlic mustard, perennial wall-rocket, wallflower and wild radish. It has also been recorded feeding on nasturtium. The species overwinters as a pupa.
- Chinery, Michael (1986). Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe (Reprinted 1991)
- Skinner, Bernard (1984). Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles
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