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Beauties -



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Some of the moths from this family which are called ‘Beauty’ and other similar species

1. Those which rest with the leading edge of the forewing right out and their hindwings showing .

2. Those which rest with the forewings held back to form a triangle


1. Willow Beauty, Mottled Beauty, Pale Oak Beauty, Engrailed and Brussels Lace

Willow Beauty Two crosslines meet in a blob at the trailing edge of the forewing.
There is sometimes a similar blob on Mottled Beauty but less distinct and not in this position.
Flight period June-October
Wing length about 21 mm

Mottled Beauty 1.Does not have the meeting cross-lines seen in Willow Beauty.
2. Hindwing is more scalloped at the edge than Willow Beauty.
3. Outer cross-line has a ‘dip’ near outer edge of the hindwing
Flight period mainly June and July
Wing length about 22 mm

Engrailed Distinguished by two small ‘daggers’ in the middle of the central cross-line.

Flight period March-August.

(Check also Small Engrailed which is much less common, almost impossible to distinguish and may not be a separate species.)

Brussels Lace The way the main cross-line in the end third of the forewing zig-zags is very characteristic and unmistakable.

Flight Period mainly June to August.

Wing 14-18mm - usually smaller than the others in this group

2. Brindled Beauty, Small Brindled Beauty and Pale Brindled Beauty - The females of Small Brindled Beauty and Pale Brindled Beauty are wingless and not shown here.

Brindled Beauty

Heavy black cross-lines

Small Brindled Beauty

Wing-length 15-17mm. Smaller than the other two - Brindled Beauty and male of Pale Brindled Beauty have wing-length at least 20 mm

Pale Brindled Beauty

Cross-lines much less prominent

Flight times of these two moths do not usually overlap :-
Pale Brindled Beauty is usually seen in January and February whereas Brindled Beauty mainly appears in April and May. However they are sometimes both seen in March and April.

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If in doubt check  also Satin Beauty, which is relatively common near conifer plantings,
 but not elsewhere  
(See Hantsmoths)

Pale Oak Beauty

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Pale Oak Beauty
Winglength about 24mm - usually larger than others in this group.
Flight period mainly May and June so often before Willow Beauty and Mottled Beauty.
Usually found in deciduous woodland.

The two central crosslines which form a blob in Willow Beauty are clearly separate.
Usually an eye-shaped mark on the hindwing where these crosslines meet.