The female tends to be a lighter yellow than the male, it also has a deeper indentation in the dark border along the edge of the wings.  The shape of the dark border helps to distinguish this species from the Bordered Beauty, which can also be slightly larger.

The adult males fly during the day, especially just after sunrise and both sexes can be disturbed from the foodplants in the afternoon. They also fly from dusk and at dawn. The caterpillars can be found from May to early July before pupating on the foodplant or in debris below it. They overwinter as eggs on the foodplant.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, Beauties and allies (Ennomines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range 24-28mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Priority species
  • Rare (Red Data Book 3)

Caterpillar Food Plants

Aspen (Populus tremula) in Scotland, and Creeping Willow (Salix repens) in Yorkshire.


Prefers open and damp scrubby and heathy grassland, usually near tall trees.


  • Countries – England, Scotland
  • Restricted to a very few sites in Scotland, in Aberdeenshire and the Moray area. Restricted to one site in England, in Yorkshire.  Individual records at other localities indicate that it may occur elsewhere.
Dark-bordered Beauty by Keith Tailby

Dark-bordered Beauty

Similar species