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70.103 (BF1750)

Water Carpet   

Lampropteryx suffumata
Adult: 2
Resident, common, widespread. Widespread throughout Britain in many habitats. Has increased in abundance since 1970.


Water Carpet is a spring moth only, appearing in April and May. This species is easily confused with the Phoenix and Small Phoenix, so care needed in June especially. The shiny appearance of the forewings should aid identity.

Recording method

Easily disturbed by day, comes to light in small numbers.

Life cycle

One generation. Overwinters as a pupa, Larvae are present May to June.

Larval foodplants

Bedstraws and cleavers.


A wide variety including damp woodland, high moorland, hedgerows and gardens.


First recorded for Dumfries and Galloway in 1829 for VC72 at Raehills by Little, in 1897 for VC74 at Corsemalzie by Gordon who found it ‘very common at Corsemalzie, flying along woodland edges, in damp areas, and also coming to light’, and in 1942 near Gatehouse of Fleet by Russell.

The melanic form piceata Stephens, 1831 was first was noted at Auchencairn Bay (VC73) on 23rd April 2011, with a further record also occurring in that area on the Torr peninsula.

760 record(s) from 53 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2021 2022 2022
70.103 Water Carpet
70.103 Water Carpet
70.103 Water Carpet
70.103 Water Carpet70.103 Water Carpet70.103 Water Carpet

 UK Moths website - further information on species (with photos)

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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