Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Very common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, May-Jul, Aug-Sep.

Forewing: 18-26mm.

Foodplant: Broadleaved trees and shrubs.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded1905200719731905
Year last recorded2011200820112011
Number of records328922257032
Number of individuals8127635816982
Unique positions344228748
Unique locations251122548
Adult records291522206274
Immature records0000

For the region, we have a total of 7032 records from 548 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1961 Light Emerald 03
© Julian Francis
1961 Light Emerald 02
© Jack Oughton
1961 Light Emerald 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A common species in Britain, the larva feeding on birch (Betula spp.), beech (Fagus spp.), oak (Quercus spp.), elm (Ulmus spp.), hawthorn (Crateagus spp.) and various other deciduous trees. In Dorset, the moth is common in deciduous woodland and frequent in deciduous scrub and thickets. It is rare in conifer plantation, in open grassland and on heathland. "Larvae may eat lichens (Usnea spp.) and mosses on oak, on alder (Alnus) and on beech tree trunks" (W Parkinson Curtis ms). The national norm is a single brood between July and early August, with a partial second brood in southern England between late August and the end of September. However, the moth is bivoltine in Dorset with the first brood on the wing from the end of May.

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species