Geometridae : Ennominae
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Peppered Moth
Biston betularia

(Linnaeus, 1758) 1931 / 70.252
Photo © Damian Money,  Skelton in Cleveland, VC62 - f. carbonaria

Immature stages

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Oak Beauty
Biston strataria
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Yorkshire Status: Very common and widespread resident.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Widely distributed and often common in all five vice-counties. The larvae feed on most trees, and are also particularly fond of garden roses! (AMRH). The melanic form f. carbonaria (Jordan) is most common over much of the County, only a small percentage of moths being f. insularia (Thierry-Meig) and the type. In only a few areas, for instance Sedbergh (west VC65) are these latter forms most frequent (J. Mounsey per FBS). However, a few more do seem to be appearing in some other areas over the last few years.

Beaumont, 2002: VC61. Spurn, since 1998 most have been the typical form, prior to that year there was a rapid change over about three years from the majority being melanic to the majority being typical (BRS). VC62. Hutton Rudby, a steady decrease in melanic moths over the past decade, from 70% in 1990 to 40% by 2000 (GWF).

2012 (CHF): Still widespread and common over the county. Since 2002, the melanic form has become even more uncommon whilst the intermediate forms (f. insularia) still occur in about the same proportion. In 2011, out of 466 records submitted, 14 were f. carbonaria and nine were f. insularia.

Argus 78, 2012: It is worth noting that the melanic (carbonaria) form of Peppered Moth has been slowly decreasing in recent years. There were just six moths reported in 2016 out of a total of 859 individuals so the incidence has dropped below 1% for the first time. Ten years ago the incidence was 10%. The intermediate (insularia) form has also decreased with only three reported last year.

Recorded in 171 (86%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1845.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Oak Beauty  |  Spring Usher >
Forewing: 22-28mm
Flight: May - August
Foodplant:   Birches, oaks and many other trees and shrubs
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 1
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
23/08/2023+65SE19 - Leyburn / Catterick Garrison
23/08/2023163SE04 - Keighley / Silsden
22/08/2023163SE02 - Halifax
16/08/2023164SE37 - Ripon
16/08/2023163SE23 - Horsforth / Headingly / Pudsey
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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