Light Emerald

Campaea margaritaria – This colourful insect is not a butterfly but a moth. With its pale-green ground colour, which fades to white within a few days, and its distinctive darker green and white stripes running through hindwings and forewings, and added smaller straight lines on forewings, it is a very attractive species. To add, it has bright-red hooked wingtips. Wingspan 30-40mm.

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

Light Emerald Campaea margaritaria

The adult flies late May to early August in the south, to September in the north. Maybe even partial extended second generations. Comes to light. It is abundant in broadleaved woodland, and where there are other trees like in parks and gardens, hedgerows and scrub. A common and well-distributed species.

The larva feeds on a wide range of broadleaved trees and shrubs, including Hawthorn and Blackthorn.


Attracted to moth trap, rear garden, Staffordshire, September 2017. © Peter Hillman

Light Emerald

Campaea margaritata

Light Emerald Campaea margaritata

Beautiful pale-green ground colour which fades to white within a few days. Distinctive darker green and white stripe  running through hindwings and forewings, and added smaller straight line on forewings.  Bright-red hooked wingtips. Similar to Swallow-tailed Moth (Ourapteryx sambu) when faded, and Small Emerald. Wingspan 30 to 40mm.

The caterpillar feeds on a wide range of broadleaved trees and shrubs, including Hawthorn and Blackthorn.

It flies late May to early August in the south, to September in the north. Maybe even partial extended second generations. Comes to light. It is abundant in broadleaved woodland. Also where there are other trees like parks and gardens, hedgerows and scrub. A common and well-distributed species.


July 2013, rear garden, Staffordshire. Nikon Coolpix P500. © Pete Hillman 2013.