Idaea rusticata

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Idaea rusticata
Geometridae - Idaea rusticata.jpg
Idaea rusticata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus: Idaea
Species: I. rusticata
Binomial name
Idaea rusticata
(Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)
  • Acidalia rusticata
  • Sterrha rusticata
  • Idaea vulpinaria Herrich-Schäffer, 1852

The least carpet (Idaea rusticata, or I. vulpinaria) is a moth of the family Geometridae.


This species can be found in most of Europe, in the Near East and in North Africa. [1] Of all moths in Britain it showed the greatest percentage increase in abundance during the period 1968 to 2007,[2] and expanded its range beyond the vicinity of London.


These moths inhabit wastelands, open places, parks and well exposed gardens. [3]


Idaea rusticata has a wingspan of 19–21 mm. The length of the forewings is 9–11 mm. [4] The edges of the wings are fringed. The basic color is whitish or cream, sometimes with a very light brownish tone. The upperside of the frontwings shows in the midfiled a dark brown to red-brown transverse drawing, with a point-shaped black spot, always within the dark field. This brown marking runs from the front to the rear edge. The upperside of the hindwings is light gray, with darker gray transversal lines. The base of the anterior margin is darkened brown. Also in the hindwings is presents a black point in the discal cell. [5]

The eggs are oval and relatively small. The caterpillar is rather short, becomes thinner towards the hind end, and shows distinct constrictions. It is gray-brown or brown and has a narrow, light line on the back. The abdomen is brightly colored. The head is small and black colored. The pupa is light brown and has a glossy surface.


It is usually an univoltine species. In Southern Europe, under favorable circumstances, a second generation can also be formed. The second generation is significantly smaller. The adults fly at night from July to August,[1] and are attracted to light. The larvae mainly feed on ivy (Hedera) and traveller's joy (Clematis vitalba).[4][4] and withered leaves of other herbaceous plants.

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


  1. ^ Fauna europaea
  2. ^ Platt, John R. (7 February 2013). "3 British Moths Extinct; Most Other Species in Decline". Extinction Countdown. Scientific American. Retrieved 12 September 2013. 
  3. ^ Collectif d'entomologistes amateurs, Guide des papillons nocturnes de France, Paris, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2007, 288 p. (ISBN 978-2-603-01429-5), p. 38, n°147
  4. ^ a b c Least Carpet at UK Moths
  5. ^ Gianluca Doremi Altervista
  • Axel Hausmann: The Geometrid moths of Europe, 2. Sterrhinae. In A. Hausmann - The Geometrid Moths of Europe 2. Apollo Books, Stenstrup 2004, ISBN 87-88757-37-4

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