Although there is some variation in the colour and intensity of the wing markings the most familiar form is a yellowish moth with a brown central band and obvious single black spot on the forewing. Other forms are more uniformly orange-brown in colour, deep brown or even blackish. The wings have a lightly scalloped edge.

They overwinter as an egg on the foodplant and the caterpillars can be seen between March and June.

Size and Family

  • Family – Thorns, beauties, umbers and allies (Geometridae)
  • Medium Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 36-44mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

A variety of broadleaved trees including Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna), Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa), Downy Birch (Betula pubescens), Silver Birch (Betula pendula), oaks, plus Honeysuckle (Lonicera periclymenum) and heathers.


Woodland, scrub, hedgerows and parks as well as gardens.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Common and well distributed throughout Britain and Ireland. Also widespread in the Channel Islands.
Scalloped Oak - Ben Sale

Scalloped Oak

Scalloped Oak - Ben Sale

Scalloped Oak

Scalloped Oak - Garry Barlow

Scalloped Oak

Scalloped Oak - Patrick Clement

Scalloped Oak

Scalloped Oak - Lez Round

Scalloped Oak

Scalloped Oak - Paul Kitchener

Scalloped Oak

Scalloped Oak - Tapio Kujala

Scalloped Oak

Scalloped Oak (caterpillar) - Roy Leverton

Scalloped Oak (caterpillar)