Easily identified by its large size and the scalloped edge to the wings. The green wing colour does not fade as in most other emeralds. White cross-lines are also scalloped with lines of white dots below.

The adults rest with wings spread and raised at an angle similar to a butterfly. They fly at night and are attracted to light but also occasionally fly high in the tree canopy on warm, sunny days.  The caterpillars can be found from July to the following June and are first brown becoming green with brown lumps after overwintering.

Size and Family

  • Family – Emeralds (Geometridae)
  • Medium / Large Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 50-60mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not Listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

Downy Birch (Betula pubescens), Silver Birch (Betula pendula), Hazel (Corylus avellana), Alder (Alnus glutinosa) and possibly also Beech (Fagus sylvatica)

Habitat

Woodland, scrubby heathland and grassland, well-established hedgerows, gardens and parks

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common. Well distributed throughout most of Britain and Ireland. Local on the Isle of Man and Jersey.
Large Emerald by nutmeg66

Large Emerald

Large Emerald by Iain Leach

Large Emerald

Large Emerald by Iain Leach

Large Emerald

Large Emerald by Stuart Read

Large Emerald

Large Emerald by Iain Leach

Large Emerald

Large Emerald by Iain Leach

Large Emerald

Large Emerald (caterpillar) by Tapio Kujala

Large Emerald (caterpillar)

Large Emerald (caterpillar) by nutmeg66

Large Emerald (caterpillar)