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Barberry Carpet (Pareulype berberata)

The Barberry Carpet is a strikingly deepbrown Carpet Moth. It has a greyish ground colour covered in bands, wavy lines and some dots in brown, black and grey. It has a lot of these wavy lines, which makes it hard to give an accurate description, but the pictures will give you the general idea. It does not look like any other moth actually, but might be mixed up with the Ruddy Carpet, which is more reddish than brownish. Another look-a-like is the Streamer, which has less wavy lines and a much greyer appearance. The wingspan of the Barberry Carpet is some 27 to 32 mm.

The caterpillars of the second generation appear in August and will pupate even before the end of September. They do so in a light cocoon, usually just under the ground, but sometimes between dead leaves. The pupa overwinters. The moths do not appear before May next year to deliver the first generation. The larvae are brown. On the sides there is a wavy white line, often with three or more big black dots just above the line. The caterpillars are easier to find than the moths for they love sunbathing in broad daylight. They live on Berberis, both the wild variety and the cultivars.

Double-brooded flying about in May and June and later in August and September. Hardly ever seen in July. On the wing from early evening on and sometimes seen flying about the foodplant at dusk. May be disturbed while resting in the foodplant during daylight. Readily comes to lights at night. A very rare species in Britain with only very few breeding areas. The Barberry Carpet Moth is in the Red Data Book, so don't catch it but take pictures only! Used to be extremely rare in Holland as well, but is regularly seen nowadays, especially in gardens and parks. This is probably due to the use of Berberis plants as garden ornaments or hedges to keep the neighbour's cat out... In other parts of Europe a rare species as well, if present.