Seq # 600170010

Macaria alternata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) Species

Last modified: April 3, 2022, 2:28 p.m.

A common species throughout Belgium.


Family: Geometridae > Subfamily: Ennominae > Tribus: Macariini > Genus: Macaria > Species: Macaria alternata
Vernacular names
Donker klaverblaadje (NL), Sharp-angled Peacock (EN), La Philobie alternée (FR), Dunkelgrauer Eckflügelspanner (DE)
Macaria alternaria (Hübner, 1799)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1844. Énumération des insectes Lépidoptères de la Belgique. — Mémoires de la Société royale des Sciences de Liége 2: 1–35. On page 15 (as alternaria). view page




Wingspan: 22–27 mm. In fresh specimens a series of dots are present along the termen on the underside of both wings.

Museum specimens

Specimens in nature


Males: the genitalia of males Macaria alternata and Macaria notata are almost indistinguishable. On M. alternata, the sacculus is stated to be slightly more protruding than on Macaria notata, but this should not be regarded as diagnostic, however examination of the eighth sternite is usually sufficient for ID.
Eight sternite deeply cleft, lobes set close together.
Females: Bursa copulatrix twice or three times lenght of ductus bursae.

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Hibernates as pupa in a cocoon underground.
The adults are active from dusk and later come to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly in two generations a year: from mid April till late August.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Prunus spinosa, Alnus glutinosa and Hippophae rhamnoides
Host plant (genera):

The larva lives on various deciduous trees like: Salix, Alnus glutinosa, Prunus spinosa and Hippophae rhamnoides.

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