Brindled Beauty Geometridae

Lycia hirtaria (Clerck, 1759)

Description: Wingspan 42-52mm.

Similar Species: Males of this species are similar in appearance to the P. pilosaria, which flies a little earlier. Adults are often variable in colour and pattern, with some individuals being quite strongly marked. The forewings have a more yellowish colour and the cross-lines are better defined. Males are more robust and have large comb-like antennae.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Generally from early April to the end of May, although there are a few records for March.

Status: Restricted to Fermanagh where it seems to be frequently encountered in some well-known localities such as, Garvary Wood, Gortmaconnell Rock, Cladagh Glen Marble Arch and Florencecourt. There are single records from a few other localities within the county. It was previously recorded at Favour Royal Tyrone in the last century, which is the only other known locality, however recent fieldwork in that area has not produced any new records.

Ecology: A scarce species found in semi natural woodland. Adults are attracted to light in moderate numbers and are known to rest during the day on the trunks of trees and occasionally stone walls. This elusive spring species may be overlooked in other areas in the west or confused with the Pale Brindled Beauty, which has a similar flight period. The larvae feed from late spring to early summer on a variety of trees including, birch Betula spp., Alder Alnus glutinosa, Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna and Beech Fagus sylvatica. It overwinters in the pupal stage.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe east to Asia Minor.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1927 Agassiz number: 70.248

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=6018

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