Belted Beauty Geometridae

Lycia zonaria (Denis & Schiff., 1775)

Description: Wingspan 28-35mm. The ground colour of the forewings is generally white, broken with a series of brown lines; the veining is dark and prominent. Males have long feathery antennae and are quite hairy. The females are wingless.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside female upperside

Flight Period: Skinner gives March and April as the main flight period although in southern Ireland it has been recorded in large numbers during April.

Status: Presumed extinct from its former haunt at Ballycastle Antrim, where larvae were found by Campbell back in the late 19th century. There have been no other records to date despite extensive searching for larvae and adults along several areas of suitable coastline.

Ecology: A distinctive species, which is quite conspicuous when at rest among the ground vegetation. Its distribution elsewhere in Ireland is restricted to the western counties of Galway and Mayo where adults have been observed by day in large numbers. The larvae feed at night and can be found from late spring to early summer on a variety of plants, including Common Bird's-foot-trefoil Lotus corniculatus, plantain Plantago spp., clover Trifolium spp., Creeping Willow Salix repens and Burnet Rose Rosa pimpinellifolia. It overwinters in the pupal stage.

World Distribution: Throughout central Europe.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1928 Agassiz number: 70.250

Additional information:

UK Moths account

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland