Geometridae : Ennominae
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Pale Oak Beauty
Hypomecis punctinalis

(Scopoli, 1763) 1944 / 70.268
Photo © Samantha Batty,  Austerfield, VC63

Similar Yorkshire Species
Willow Beauty
Peribatodes rhomboidaria
Great Oak Beauty
Hypomecis roboraria
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Express Record Pale Oak Beauty

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Yorkshire Status: Rare resident

Pale Oak Beauty is a moth of south and east England but it must have been more widespread in the country at some time in the past. There are old records from Northumberland and particularly from Durham where it was seen at Castle Eden Dene and other sites in the 1920s and 1970s, though it does not appear to have been seen since. It was unknown to Porritt, so if it did occur in the county, it must have been a long time ago as the northern moths look like a relict population. From the turn of the century, records started to appear in Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire and in 2015, the first moth appeared in Yorkshire at Catwick in VC61. The following year it was found at Thorne Moor where there is now a healthy population, the maximum count being seven on 19/5/2002.

Since then, it has continued to spread and has turned up at a variety of sites in VC61 and VC63, and in 2024 made a huge jump to Foxglove Covert, Catterick in VC65. As yet there are no records from VC64 but this is just a matter of time. This is a woodland moth. Larvae feed on a variety of broad-leaved trees and it not quite so dependent on oak as Great Oak Beauty. The only species you are likely to mistake it for are the smaller Willow Beauty and the larger Great Oak Beauty, as the size can overlap with both. A helpful feature to identify it is the presence of a dark central spot with a pale centre on the hindwing, though in some specimens this is not obvious.

Recorded in 6 (3%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 2015.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Great Oak Beauty  |  Engrailed >
Forewing: 22-26mm
Flight: May - July
Foodplant:   Pedunculate Oak, birches, Hazel, Hawthorn and sallows.
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
10/07/2023163SK39 - Ecclesfield
22/06/2023163SK39 - Ecclesfield
22/06/2023163SE71 - Crowle
10/06/2023161SE64 - Wheldrake
27/05/2023161SE64 - Wheldrake
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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