Geometridae : Larentiinae
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Spruce Carpet
Thera britannica

(Turner H J, 1925) 1769 / 70.079
Photo © Andrew Rhodes,  Coniston Cold, VC64

Similar Yorkshire Species
Grey Pine Carpet
Thera obeliscata
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Yorkshire Status: Fairly common and fairly widespread resident.

This is a common and widespread moth all across the county wherever spruce is planted and often in other habitats including gardens where the foodplant appears to be absent. It is curious to note the comments in Sutton and Beaumont when it seemed to be rather scarce. It is tricky to know when it was first recorded as it appears on some old record cards in the 1960s and 70s with rather vague dates. It remained scarce until 2000, then records increased at a dramatic rate, and in 2006 we received an amazing 275 records. It has continued to do well since then and this is mirrored nationally, especially in Scotland where it has moved into many new areas as far north as Orkney. It is now significantly more common than Grey Pine Carpet. These two species are rather variable. If typical, they are easy to tell apart, as Spruce Carpet is a prettier moth, but now and again you are faced with a moth which could be either! If you are really despearate to know which it is and don't want to dissect it, you can always look at the antennae if it is a male. The middle segments have a "saw-tooth" appearance in Spruce Carpet (see for example the photos in Conifer Moths of the British Isles by Jon Clifton and Jim Wheeler).

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Although not previously included in a Yorkshire list; W. Reid was recording this species from Whirlow, Sheffield (VC63) regular T. obeliscata (Hubner), so we cannot be sure of these early records. Recently there have been several more records which are probably reliable but none so far have been critically examined so there is still an element of doubt. The species occurs in Durham and an old (1900-50) record is shown for Upper Teesdale (Dunn & Parrack, 1986).

Recorded in 154 (77%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1950.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Chestnut-coloured Carpet  |  Grey Pine Carpet >
Forewing: 13-17mm
Flight: May - July, September - November
Foodplant:   Norway Spruce, Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
18/11/2023164SE24 - Bramhope / Otley
06/11/2023164SE34 - Harewood
05/11/2023164SE24 - Bramhope / Otley
01/11/2023165SE37 - Ripon
31/10/2023161TA02 - Hessle
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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