pale beauty

(Campaea perlata)

pale beauty
Photo by Greg Watson
  Hodges #

6796

 
 
Conservation Status
  IUCN Red List

not listed

 
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

SNR - Unranked

 
  Minnesota

not listed

 
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Pale beauty is a common, medium-sized, typical geometer moth. In the United States it occurs in the east from Maine to northern Georgia, west to Minnesota and northern Arkansas; on the West Coast from northern Washington to central California; and along the Rocky Mountains from Montana to New Mexico. It is absent from the Great Plains, the desert west, and the deep south. It also occurs across Canada from Newfoundland and Labrador to Yukon (the name of the province was officially changed from “the Yukon” to simply “Yukon” in 2003) and in Alaska. In Minnesota it is common in the eastern half of the state, mostly absent from the western half.

Pale beauty is found from early June through early September in deciduous, coniferous, and mixed forests, and in shrubby areas. Larvae are generalist feeders. They feed on the leaves of at least 65 species of trees and shrubs, including alder, ash, basswood, beech, birch, blueberry, cherry, cranberry, fir, elm, hemlock, maple, oak, pine, poplar, rose, spruce, tamarack, and willow. Adults have nonfunctional mouth parts and do not feed.

Adults have a 1 to 2 (28 to 51 mm) wingspan. The female is much larger than the male.

The wings are translucent and are tinged to varying degrees with some shade of green. On the forewing, the antemedial (AM) line is white with a dark lower shadow, and the postmedial (PM) line is white with a dark upper shadow. Both lines are relatively straight and curve upward near the leading edge (costal margin). The PM line continues onto the hindwing, the AM line does not. The wings are otherwise unmarked. The fringe is pale.

The antennae on the female are slender and thread-like. On the male the antennae are branched, feather-like, on both sides (bipectinate).

The caterpillar, called fringed looper, is up to 1½ (4 cm) long. The ground color may be gray, brick red, or occasionally smoky green. On the sides of the body the breathing pores (spiracles) are ringed with black. The underside of the body is noticeably flattened and pale. Most caterpillars have a pair of fleshy, leg-like structures (prolegs) on abdominal segment three (A3) through A6 and another on A10. Pale beauty has an extra set of prolegs on A5. On each side of the body there is a fringe of thickened pale hairs at the bottom. The fringe probably makes the caterpillar more difficult for predators to see.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Wingspan: 1 to 2 (28 to 51 mm)

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

Deciduous, coniferous, and and mixed forests; shrubby areas

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

Two generations per year in Minnesota: June through early September

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Adults are active at night and will come to lights. They spend the day on the underside of living leaves. They rest with their wings spread out.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Third or fourth stage (instar) caterpillars overwinter on tree bark and on branches, probably fully exposed.

 
     
 

Larva Hosts

 
 

At least 65 species of trees and shrubs, including alder, ash, basswood, beech, birch, blueberry, cherry, fir, elm, hemlock, maple, oak, pine, poplar, rose, spruce, tamarack, and willow

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

4, 21, 24, 27, 29, 30, 71, 75, 82, 83.

 
  6/27/2023      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths)  
 

Superfamily

Geometroidea (geometrid and swallowtail moths)  
 

Family

Geometridae (geometer moths)  
 

Subfamily

Ennominae (typical geometers)  
  Tribe Campaeini  
 

Genus

Campaea  
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

Metrocampa perlata

Metrocampa praegrandaria

Metrocampa viridoperlata

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

American light emerald

American light emerald moth

fringed looper (caterpillar)

pale beauty

pale beauty moth (adult)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Antemedial (AM) line

A thin line separating the basal area and the median area of the forewing of Lepidoptera.

 

Costal margin

The leading edge of the forewing of insects.

 

Postmedial (PM) line

A thin line separating the median area and the postmedial area of the forewing of Lepidoptera.

 

Proleg

A fleshy structure on the abdomen of some insect larvae that functions as a leg, but lacks the five segments of a true insect leg.

 

Spiracle

A small opening on the surface of an insect through which the insect breathes.

 

 

 

 

 

pale beauty (Campaea perlata)
 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Greg Watson

 
    pale beauty      
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
Pale Beauty - Hodges#6796 (Campaea perlata)
Andree Reno Sanborn
  Pale Beauty - Hodges#6796 (Campaea perlata)  

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
  Pale Beauty Moth (Geometridae: Campaea perlata) on Wall
Carl Barrentine
 
   
 
About

Jul 3, 2011

Photographed at Nisswa, Minnesota (01 July 2011). Thank you to 'shotguneddie' (@Bugguide.net) for confirming the identity of this specimen!

 
  Pale Beauty Moth
Les Leighton
 
   
 
About

Jun 14, 2013

Campaea perlata

 

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Greg Watson
6/19/2023

Location: Whitewater State Park, along the Trout Run Creek Trail

pale beauty

 
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Created: 6/27/2023

Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.