Saturday, 28 June 2014

July Belle or Lead Belle ?

July Belle (left)  &  Lead Belle (right)

When I ran my trap at Bala on the night of 24th June I was pleased to find two Scotopteryx species the following morning, which at first glance looked the same.  Being mid-June I couldn't differentiate between them on the basis of flight season alone, since the Lead Belle was just ending and the July Belle just beginning.  Fortunately Peter W was paying me a visit that day, and helped explain how to identify them.

July Belle (left)  &  Lead Belle (right)

The July Belle's black central spot on the forewing is usually smaller and dot-like and is normally nearer the second cross-line than the third, whereas the Lead Belle's central spot is usually tear-shaped and roughly midway between the second and third cross-lines.  Additionally, the zigzag outermost cross-line is often more well-defined on the Lead Belle than on the July Belle.

This is not a definitive guide, and if in doubt submit a photo for verification, or if that way inclined retain the specimen and arrange for genitalia examination.


  1. Thanks Peter, this is a very useful guide to what can be two very difficult species to separate.


  2. Excellent photos, Peter. Thanks for sharing. I've yet to come across a Lead Belle.