A number of Owlet Moths that previously belonged to the real family of Owlet Moths (Noctuidae) have been transferred to the Erebid Moths (Erebidae). At the real owlet moths, you see typically the two “owl markings”, the kidney and the oval mark. The family-changed owlet moths were an odd one out there because they don’t have those so-called “owl markings”. Other examples are the snout owlet moths that look more like a Geometer Moth when resting and which stand out due to their long protruding palps.
Mother Shipton – 2023 (DE)
While I was out with a group to discover specific butterflies, I suddenly saw the Mother Shipton (Euclidia mi) sitting on a flower. This is a diurnal moth that keeps its wings slightly spread when at rest. The greyish wings have a striking pattern of brown, light brown rimmed spots. In the midfield is a characteristic jagged, cream-colored bordered spot containing a clear black dot and a light-colored T-shaped spot. The English name refers to the head of an old lady or witch with a long protruding nose that you can see in this spot pattern. The light wavy line on the upper side of the forewing is edged on the inner surface with black-brown wedge-shaped spots. The hindwings are brown above with yellow-white bands. Because the wing veins are also brown, the yellow bands look more like a series of spots. The flight period is in one generation from late April to late July and the wingspan is 25-30mm. Host plant: Clover. Dutch name: Mi-vlinder. Frisian name: –
Burnet Companion – 2023 (DE)
The Burnet Companion (Euclidia glyphica) is a diurnal moth with a warm brown or grayish brown, often lilac-tinged forewing. This butterfly owes its English name to the fact that it is often found in the presence of burnets. A narrow dark band runs along the inner transverse line and a wide dark band runs along the outer transverse line. Sometimes these transverse bands are absent. In the zoom field, a large dark brown spot can be seen along the leading edge. When perching on a plant, the Burnet Companion often sits with its wings spread so that you can see the top of its hindwings. At the base, the hindwing is dark brown and more towards the outside orange-yellow with dark veins and a narrow dark transverse band. The underside of both the front and hind wings is orange-yellow with a dark brown pattern, which gives this moth a colorful impression in flight. The flight period is in two generations from mid-April to mid-August and the wingspan is 25-30mm. Host plant: Clover and Trefoil. Dutch name: Bruine daguil. Frisian name: –
Fan-foot – 2017 (NL)
The Fan-foot (Herminia tarsipennalis) is a moth that is triangular when resting. The forewing is brown and has three dark transverse lines. The inner transverse line is slightly curved and makes a sharp bend at the costa towards the base. The middle transverse line is corrugated, with a central spot visible near the large bulge. As with other snout owlet moths, the long palps are protruding. The Fan-foot flies in two generations from May to October with a wingspan of 30-35mm. Host plant: fallen leaves of Beech, Oak, and Blackberry. Dutch name: Lijnsnuituil. Frisian name: –
Shaded Fan-foot – 2020 (NL)
The Shaded Fan-foot (Herminia tarsicrinalis) has a lightly speckled forewing that is light brown to reddish-brown. The apex is slightly bending outwards. Three dark transverse lines run across the wing. The inner transverse line curves near the costa and the outer transverse line is almost straight. This is the distinctive difference from the similar Small Fan-foot (Herminia grisealis) where the outer transverse line curves towards the apex. Between the wavy median line and the ante-median line, a darker brown transverse band is visible containing the curved central spot. Like other fan-foots, the long palps stand out. The wingspan is 28-32mm and the flight period runs from May to August in one generation. Host plant: Withered leaves. Dutch name: Schaduwsnuituil. Frisian name: –
Dotted Fan-foot – 2019 (NL)
In June I had many beautiful new spots attracted to light. This also applies to the Dotted Fan-foot (Macrochilo cribrumalis). This is a white-grey to light brown-grey snout owlet moth where the wings between the veins are finely speckled black so that the wings appear white striped. Across the forewing, you can see two rows of black dots outside the striking black central dot. The palps are remarkably long and protrude in an arc. The flying period is in one generation from late May to August with a wingspan of 27-30mm. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Stippelsnuituil. Frisian name: Stippelsnútûltsje.
Snout – 2017 (NL)
The Snout (Hypena proboscidalis) has, like other snout owlet moths, a striking snout because of the protruding palps. For the Snout, these palps are longer than for other species. The ground color of the top of the wings varies from brown to dull greyish brown or even dark purplish-brown. Two dark brown cross lines run over the wings. The hindwing is very light grey. This owlet moth flies in two generations from May to October with a wingspan of 25-38mm. Host plant: Nettle. Dutch name: Bruine snuituil. Frisian name: Brún snútûltsje.
The Buttoned Snout – 2021 (NL)
A snout that can be easily distinguished from other snout owlet moths is the Buttoned Snout (Hypena rostralis) because of its relatively narrow forewing. Usually, this owlet moth has a light brown ground color with an alternating pattern of dark spots. Often the inner half of the wing is darker than the rest of the forewing. In the midfield, you can see a narrow dark stripe on the more marked specimens between the small round oval mark and the center spot, through which a kind of ‘buttonhole’ can be seen. A dark, slightly offset transverse line is often visible halfway through the forewing. As with other snout owlet moths, this owlet moth has a distinctive ‘snout’ due to the long palps. The flight period is from March to June and again from the end of July to October and the wingspan is 27-32mm. Host plant: Hop. Dutch name: Hopsnuituil. Frisian name: –
Straw Dot – 2008 (NL)
The Straw Dot (Rivula sericealis) looks like a triangle when resting. The forewing is straw-colored with a brown dorsum and fringe. The wing clearly shows a purple central spot with two small black dots. He flies in three generations from May to October with a wingspan of 18-22mm. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Stro-uiltje. Frisian name: Strieûltsje.
Marsh Oblique-barred – 2019 (NL)
What you do not expect directly from the Marsh Oblique-barred (Hypenodes humidalis) is that this owlet moth belongs to the Erebid Moths and thus to the macro-moths. You would rather expect it to be a micro-moth. Characteristic are the oblique transverse lines across the wing. The transverse line seen halfway across the wing appears to cut a marking halfway through. In principle, the cross-line goes around it. In the resting position, the transverse lines appear to be inverted ‘V’s. The spot at the center of the wing is strikingly black with a white deposit on one side. The flight period is in two generations from May to October and the wingspan is 14-15mm. Host plant: Rushes and sedges. Dutch name: Moeras-micro-uil. Frisian name: –
Gypsy Moth – 2020 (NL)
The male and female of the Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) are quite different in size and color. The males have brown-grey forewings with several dark serrated transverse lines. A small central dot can be seen in the median band, which is formed by the transverse lines. The females are much larger and have cream-colored wings over which three brown-black transverse lines run. Here, too, there is a dark central spot in the median band formed by the transverse lines. The flying period is from mid-June to the end of August in one generation. Host plant: Various deciduous and coniferous trees. Dutch name: Plakker. Frisian name: Plakker.
Black Arches – 2023 (BE)
In the Netherlands, the nun butterfly (Lymantria monacha) is not as common as in the north of Belgium. In the south of Belgium, it is a widespread species. This striking moth with its white to creamy white forewings with a large number of black, strong serrated transverse lines and spots, was in my moth trap that I had set up in the Belgian Ardennes. The inner zone is usually empty except for a clear center dot. Further outwards there is an inverted V-shaped spot and a few closely spaced lines. Sometimes these lines merge into a dark zone and sometimes the entire midfield is dark. The female has a pointed abdomen with which she can bury the eggs deep in a bark crevice. The flight period is in one generation from mid-June to mid-October and the wingspan is 30-50mm. Host plant: various conifers, deciduous trees and shrubs. Dutch name: Nonvlinder. Frisian name: Nonflinter.