Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Scientific name: Geometra papilionaria

Large Emerald

Late June to late August. Common and well distributed throughout Britain. The largest of the British emeralds.


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.

What do Large Emeralds eat?

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

What habitats does the Large Emerald live in?

Large Emeralds live in a range of habitats including  woodland, scrubby heathland and grassland, well established hedgerows, gardens and parks

What family does the Large Emerald belong to?

Large Emeralds live in the Geometridae family.

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Scientific Name

Geometra papilionaria


England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland


Medium / Large Sized

Wingspan Range: 50-60mm



Common. Well distributed throughout most of Britain and Ireland. Local on the Isle of Man and Jersey.

Other Wildlife