Geometridae: Larentiinae

1721 (ABH70.050) Balsam Carpet Xanthorhoe biriviata, (Borkhausen, 1794)


11th July 2020.
11th July 2020.
 Photo © Malcolm Hillier
11th July 2020.
 Photo © Malcolm Hillier
11th July 2020.
11th July 2020.
 Photo © Malcolm Hillier

General Information

This species is distinguished from most other carpets by its outer edge of dull black and the dark grey central cross-band on the forewing, which has a pronounced, quite pointed, tooth-like projection, and is generally less irregular.


The spring generation is quite pale, with a whitish cross-band beyond the central one. It is tinged with brown and with noticeably brown banding near the base of the forewing. The summer generation is generally darker, without the white band.


Pupates in moss or leaf litter.

Overwinters as Overwinters as a pupa.
Both sexes readily come to light, sometimes in numbers.
Flies during the day

Forewing length: 12-14mm.
Foodplant(s): Orange Balsam (Impatiens capensis), Small Balsam (Impatiens parviflora)
Flying: Two generations, late April-June and July-early September
UK Presence: Resident
National status: Uncommon/Rare


Lightly wooded water meadows and other damp pasture, and tow-paths bordering rivers and canals alongside which Orange Balsam often grows.

Regional Information

There are no records in the system yet in Huntingdonshire.

Similar Species
 Photo © Barry Dickerson
Dark-barred Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe ferrugata
 Photo © Barry Dickerson
Large Twin-spot Carpet Xanthorhoe quadrifasiata
Great Staughton, July 2011
Great Staughton, July 2011
 Photo © Peter Bissell
Common Carpet Epirrhoe alternata

Larva Type:
Green, grey, brown, black, yellow
No. of Proleg Pairs: