Engrailed (moth)

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Ectropis crepuscularia
Ectropis crepuscularia01.jpg
Photo courtesy of Entomart.be
Ectropis crepuscularia female.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus: Ectropis
E. crepuscularia
Binomial name
Ectropis crepuscularia

Ectropis bistortata Goeze, 1781

The engrailed and small engrailed (Ectropis crepuscularia) are moths of the family Geometridae found from the British Isles through central and eastern Europe to the Russian Far East and Kazakhstan. The western Mediterranean and Asia Minor and the Caucasus represent the southern limit of the distribution (with the Balkan countries). In the north, the distribution area ends at the Arctic circle. It also occurs in North America. Debate exists as to whether they make up one species, or whether E. crepuscularia actually refers only to the small engrailed, with the engrailed proper being separable as E. bistortata.[1][2]

The ground colour of the wings is buff or grey, variably marked with darker fascia and a pale postdiscal crossline. The darker markings are not usually as strong as in the rather similar willow beauty. Melanic forms occur fairly frequently. The wingspan is 38–45 mm. One or two broods are produced each year. In the British Isles, the adults can be seen at any time between March and August; this time range may vary in other parts of this moth's range. The species flies at night and is attracted to light.

The greyish caterpillar is truly polyphagous, feeding on a huge range of plants. As a caterpillar, the species is known as the saddleback looper.[3] The species overwinters as a pupa.

Recorded food plants[edit]



  1. ^ http://www.norfolkmoths.co.uk/index.php?bf=19471
  2. ^ http://irishmoths.net/pages-moth/m-1947x.html
  3. ^ "Saddleback looper". Trees, Insects and Diseases of Canada's Forests. Natural Resources Canada. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  4. ^ C. Michael Hogan (2008) Douglas-fir: Pseudotsuga menziesii, globalTwitcher.com, ed. Nicklas Strõmberg Archived June 4, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Hübner (1825) Ectropis

Further reading[edit]

  • Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984

External links[edit]

  • Engrailed on UKMoths
  • Savela, Markku. "Ectropis crepuscularia (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)". Lepidoptera and Some Other Life Forms. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  • Lepiforum e.V.