Lead Belle

  • Lead Belle
    Lead Belle

Scientific name: Scotopteryx mucronata

May - June. Britain and Ireland. Medium-sized, grey moth, found on heathland, moorland and scrub. Caterpillars feed on gorse, broom, petty whin and dyer's greenweed. Similar to the July Belle.

Very similar to the July Belle and can be difficult to distinguish from it. The July Belle usually flies later, although there is some overlap in flight periods. In the Lead Belle the small black central spot is usually teardrop-shaped and roughly midway between the two central cross-lines. The outer zig-zag line also tends to be less faint than that of the July Belle.

Readily disturbed from vegetation by day and also flies after dark.

Size and Family

  • Family – Carpets and Allies (Larentiines)
  • Medium Sized 

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Local (only found in some areas)

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Gorse, Broom, Petty Whin and Dyer’s Greenweed.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Well distributed in south-west England and parts of Wales, northern England, Scotland and Ireland. Also found on the Isle of Man. Two subspecies are known in the British Isles, one being northern in distribution, the other being southern.


Heathland and moorland, and occasionally other scrubby places and rough pasture.

Similar species