Autumnal moth

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Autumnal moth
Epirrita autumnata.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus: Epirrita
Species: E. autumnata
Binomial name
Epirrita autumnata
(Borkhausen, 1794)

The autumnal moth (Epirrita autumnata) is a moth of the family Geometridae. It is found throughout the Palearctic region and the Near East and has a much wider distribution than its two close relatives (see below). In Lapland, in some years the numerous autumnal moth larvae may defoliate square miles of birch forests on mountains.[1]


This species is very similar to the November moth and pale November moth and identification is usually only possible by examining the genitalia. In general this is the least variable of the three with melanic forms occurring less often. It is also usually on the wing earlier in the year, flying in September and October [1], although the flight seasons of all three species overlap.

The caterpillar feeds on a wide variety of trees and shrubs (see below). The species overwinters as an egg.

  1. ^ The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range.

Recorded food plants[edit]


  • E. a. altivagata
  • E. a. autumnata


  1. ^ Haukioja, Erkki; Hanhimäki, Sinikka (1985). "Rapid wound-induced resistance in white birch (Betula pubescens) foliage to the geometrid Epirrita autumnata: a comparison of trees and moths within and outside the outbreak range of the moth". Oecologia. 65 (2): 223–232. doi:10.1007/BF00379221.
  2. ^ Sadik Tuzun and Elizabeth Bent, 2006
  3. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Douglas-fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii,, ed. Nicklas Strõmberg Archived 2009-06-04 at the Wayback Machine.

External links[edit]