- Subfamily: Larentiinae, Xanthorhoini
- Wingspan: 22-29 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Rubiaceae
The Epirrhoe alternata also called Common Carpet is a moth of the Geometridae family, Larentiinae subfamily, with a wingspan of 22-29 mm.
It is distributed throughout Europe, including Iceland, in Italy it is also present in the islands. *
It is also present throughout the Palearctic region as well as in the Middle East.
The background color of the front wings of the Epirrhoe alternata varies from gray to brown / black, with whitish stripes and with gray and dark brown bands. Clearly visible in the post-median band, a white band with a gray line in the center that follows the trend of the band itself. The hind wings are a lighter gray also with a white band. However, it is a fairly variable moth in the intensity of the colors.
Head, thorax are gray / brown, the abdomen has the same color with two dark marks on each segment that are increasingly lighter moving towards the anal area. **
Hardly distinguishable from the similar species Epirrhoe rivata which, in addition to having a wider postmedian white band than the Epirrhoe alternata , and with the gray line that crosses this band barely mentioned if not entirely absent in some places, it is also slightly larger.
Bivoltine, it flies from May to June and then from August to September. It can be found in a wide range of habitats, from woodlands, heaths, grasslands, parks and public gardens. Mainly nocturnal, where it is attracted by artificial light it is sometimes also active during the day.
The egg is white, shiny and oblong. The larva is green in the first stages, subsequently it is brown with a brown / black line on the back in the first three and in the last two segments, with dark brown V markings and white diamonds on the remaining segments. The head is light with some dark brown markings at the union of the cephalic capsules. **
The pupa has a brown / reddish color, the Cremaster in the terminal part, is divided into small hooked outgrowths. **
The larvae feed on Rubiaceae in particular on Galium and Galium mollugo.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/