Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 13-15mm.

Foodplant: Lichens.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded19971842200920092009
Year last recorded20142013201420142014
Number of records176863235
Number of individuals278789235
Unique positions3972462
Unique locations3872462
Adult records176863205
Immature records00000

For the county, we have a total of 275 records from 77 sites. First recorded in 1842.


72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 2020 abundance
© C H Fletcher
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 2020 map
© C H Fletcher
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 08
© David Ashton, 13 Jul 2016
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 07
© Ken Mccann
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 06
© Nick Lawman
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 05
© Andy Nunn
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 04
© Dave Shenton
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 03
© Ray Priestley, 18 Jun 2011
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 02
© Charles Fletcher, 16 Jul 2009
72.069 Beautiful Hook-tip 01
© Ian Andrews

Species Account

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Not recorded since Porritt (1883-86). Porritt said 'We have two localities for this peculiar lichen feeder. Scarborough (T.W.); York (R.C., Entom. April 1842).'. These Yorkshire records are the furthest north this species has been recorded in Britain.

Beaumont, 2002:
VC61. Tophill Low, 16.7.1997 (PAC). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD, and the first County record for over 120 years.

Argus 58, 2009: An amazing expansion after only three previous county records in the modern era with spread into three new VCs.
VC63. Netherton, 13.7.2009 (JRB). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.
VC64. Barwick-in-Elmet, 3.7.2009 (ABN). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.
VC65. Hutton Conyers, 16.7.2009 (CHF). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.

Argus 63, 2011:
VC62. Huby, 28.6.2011 (NL). NEW VICE-COUNTY RECORD.

2020 (CHF): Beautiful Hook-tip was known to Porritt. He said “we have two localities for this peculiar lichen feeder” These were Scarborough and York and were the furthest north this species had been recorded in Britain. This is yet another moth which then retreated south to the Midlands and East Anglia where it lay in the doldrums for many years before deciding to venture slowly north about fifty years ago. A record at Tophill Low in 1997 was a taste of things to come and from 2007 it decided Yorkshire was the “place to be”, colonising VC62 in 2008 and the other three VCs in 2009. Since then, numbers have rocketed and we now have over 2000 records on the database. For the last three years I have been confidently predicting a slump in numbers as its parasitoids catch up with it, which just shows how much I know about moths, as records continue to climb. This year we received an amazing 454 records of 898 moths from 123 sites spread all across the county with the exception of the north west where its preferred woodland habitat is not quite so plentiful, though I do expect a bit more movement in this direction. The number of red dots on the map this year is quite impressive and as you can see there are a lot of new sites. It is already becoming easy to forget how rare this moth used to be. Counts into double figures are now quite common, particularly in VC61, and the biggest total caught in one trapping session is 35. This species produces a small second brood in September and early October most years but curiously there wasn’t a single second-brood moth this year.

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