Scientific name: Scotopteryx mucronata
May to 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.
The adults are readily disturbed from vegetation by day. They fly after dark and are attracted to light. The caterpillars can be found from August to the following March overwintering as larvae on thwe foodplant.
Size and Family
- Family – Carpets and Allies (Larentiines)
- Medium Sized
- Wingspan Range – 30-38mm
- UK BAP: Not listed
- Local (only found in some areas)
Caterpillar Food Plants
Gorse (Ulex europaeus), Broom (Cytisus scoparius), Petty Whin (Genista anglica) and Dyer’s Greenweed (Genista tinctoria).
Heathland and moorland, and occasionally other scrubby places and rough pasture.
- 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.