Biston betularia

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Biston betularia (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Olaf Leillinger
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Biston betularia caterpillar imitating a twig (click on image to enlarge it)
Author(s): Gyorgy Csoka, Hungary Forest Research Institute
Source: IPM Images

Biston betularia (Linnaeus, 1758) - (peppered moth)

This moth is found in Europe, Asia and the Near East. The caterpillars are polyphagous and can cause defoliation on smaller crops like currant, blackberry or ornamentals. On trees (e.g. birch, apple or Prunus) the damage is usually insignificant. The moths have a wingspan of up to 55 mm and are usually white with black spots and patches. Completely back forms have been also described.

Vernacular names
• Deutsch: Birkenspanner
• English: peppered moth
cleft-headed looper
• Français: phalène du bouleau