Swallowtail Moth (Ourapteryx sambucaria)
The swallowtail moth is a member of the family of geometer moths. It is widespread in Europe but is hard to spot because of its nocturnal habits.
- Family: Geometridae
- Genus: Ourapteryx
- Scientific Name: Ourapteryx sambucaria
Description and Identification
Gray-brown in color, the larva is covered with a succession of scarcely visible longitudinal lines. It looks like a twig.
The larvae pupate inside a cocoon made of dry leaves.
Sexual Dimorphism: Present but not prominent.
Color and Appearance
Forewing: When opened, they range from yellow to white, covered with dark lines. When closed, the patterns remain visible.
Hindwing: When open, brownish spots are visible near the base. When closed, the spots remain hidden.
Average wingspan: 50–62 mm
Flight pattern: Consistent
Eggs are orange, with 16 ridges present longitudinally and traverse lines between them.
|Distribution||Europe and the near East|
|Habitat||Gardens, hedgerows, parks, scrubs, and woodrows|
|Lifespan of Adults||Not recorded|
|Host Plants||Primarily Ivy; also elder, hawthorn, and honeysuckle|
|Adult Diet||Does not feed|
Did You Know
- Swedish zoologist Carl Linnaeus first described this species in the 10th edition of his book Systema Naturae in 1758.