The Lappet Gastropacha quercifolia
The Lappet Gastropacha quercifolia
Adult • Dorset • © Paul Harris

66.012 BF1642
The Lappet Gastropacha quercifolia

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Wingspan 50-90 mm.

A quite spectacular species whose latin name quercifolia refers not to the foodplant but to the moth's resemblance to a cluster of dried oak leaves when at rest. The English name describes the caterpillar, which has fleshy 'lappets' or skirts along the sides.

The species is locally common in the south and south-east of Britain, and is on the wing in June and July, when it can be attracted to light.

Females are larger than the males, with a wingspan of up to 90mm or more. The larvae feed on a number of shrubs such as hawthorn (Crataegus) and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa).
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