Noctuinae

Noctuinae is a subfamily of the Owlet Moths (Noctuidae). The forewing of these moths is generally rectangular. In the resting position, the wings are folded over each other above the abdomen. The head is broad and flattened and has no tufts of protruding hair.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Amphipoea

Saltern Ear – 2017 (NL)

One of the three Amphipoea species recorded in the Netherlands is the Saltern Ear (Amphipoea fucosa). Characteristic is the large amount of thin black cross lines that vary in intensity. The kidney mark is yellow, orange, or white and is noticeable. The base color of the wings is light yellow-brown. The biotope where the species has been observed may support the determination. The Saltern Ear is mainly found in more or less moist grasslands in the coastal region and locally inland (river area). It flies in one generation from July to October and the wingspan is 29-35mm. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Weidevlekuil. Frisian name: Gielbrún flekûltsje.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Apamea

Dark Arches – 2008 (NL)

The Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) is somewhat larger than its counterparts. The top of the forewing is grey-brown or grey-yellow and the owl marks are clearly visible. The oval mark is elongated and slopes upwards. In the light wave line near the termen of the forewings, a ‘W’ can be recognized and on the top of the chest piece, there are two dark V-shaped lines. It flies in one generation from June to September and the wingspan is 38-52mm. Host plant: Common Couch and Cock’s-foot. Dutch name: Graswortelvlinder. Frisian name: Gerswoartelûltsje.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Apamea

Clouded-bordered Brindle – 2018 (NL)

A variable species with two distinct color forms is the Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata). One color form is light yellow to brown, slightly red or gray tinted forewing. Striking are the dark brown, broad shoulders that run into two black stripes at the inner edge of the wing. In a resting position the two black stripes seem to converge. Several reddish-brown spots and streaks are visible along the costa. There are also reddish-brown toothed spots in the costa. The other color form has a reddish dark brown forewing that is drawn quite smoothly and only shows the yellowish-outlined kidney and oval mark. The flight period is from the end of April to mid-July in one generation and the wingspan is 36-44mm. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Variabele grasuil. Frisian name: Fariabel gersûltsje.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Apamea

Small Clouded Brindle – 2019 (NL)

A smaller Apamea species is the Small Clouded Brindle (Apamea unanimis). This owlet moth is clearly recognizable by the always clearly visible white border on the hollow part of the kidney mark. The forewing has a light to dark, reddish-brown or olive-brown color and a variable, sometimes rough, marbled appearance. There are two black stripes at the base, one in the center and one near the dorsum. The stripe in the center, together with the blackish side of the shoulder, forms a striking bold black smudge. On the hindwing, there is a clear crescent-shaped spot missing from other Apamea species. The flight period is from early May to mid-July and the wingspan is 30-38mm. Host plant: Grasses and Reed-canary Grass. Dutch name: Rietgrasuil. Frisian name:

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Apamea

Rustic Shoulder-knot – 2019 (NL)

The most characteristic of the Rustic Shoulder-knot (Apamea sordens) is the usually slightly branched black streak at the base of the forewing. The forewing is fairly wide, sand-colored, or greyish-brown and has a fairly pointed apex. The oval and kidney marks are quite large and the kidney mark is often largely or completely outlined in white. A reddish spot can sometimes be seen in the marginal area. The flight period is from the end of April to the end of July in one generation and the wingspan is 34-42mm. Host plant: Various grasses including Cock’s-foot. Dutch name: Kweekgrasuil. Frisian name:

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Helotropha

The Crescent – 2018 (NL)

The first specimen I spotted of the Crescent (Helotropha leucostigma) was a bit of a puzzle because it was already a fairly faded specimen. The costa and the termen of this owlet moth form a fairly right angle. The top of the forewing is chocolate brown or reddish, and the kidney mark is quite striking white. Some specimens are drawn quite smoothly, but there are also specimens that show clearly veined white veins, as with my first specimen. In addition, a remarkably light band can often be seen in the marginal area, the inner edge of which is straight. This owlet moth flies in one generation from June to early October and the wingspan is 37-44mm. Host plant: Yellow Flag. Dutch name: Gele lis-boorder. Frisian name: Barchjeblomboarder.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Hydraecia

Rosy Rustic – 2018 (NL)

With the bluish light of the UV-lamp that I use when attracting moths, you sometimes do not see everything clearly. I often shine with a flashlight to see if I am dealing with a new species. Then you suddenly notice a Rosy Rustic (Hydraecia micacea) sitting unobtrusively on a yellow brick that holds the canvas in place. This yellow-colored, sometimes pinkish-brown, owlet moth has two dark central transverse lines on the front wing. The inner is irregular and has a striking kink at the dorsum. The outer transverse line runs diagonally across the wing and makes a sharp turn at the costa towards the base. The part between the two transverse lines is darker than the rest of the wing. The oval and kidney marks are darkly rimmed. The flying period is in one generation from July to November. Host plant: Various low plants like Dock. Dutch name: Aardappelstengelboorder. Frisian name:

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Lateroligia

Double-lobed – 2020 (NL)

The Double Lobed (Lateroligia ophiogramma, alternatively Apamea ophiogramma) is a slender built owlet moth with a sand-colored or light reddish-brown forewing. Characteristic is the reddish-brown to dark brown field along the costa. The field includes the oval mark and the light-colored kidney mark and ends in a broad, black-edged lob that runs into the midfield. There are sometimes specimens that are almost completely dark brown, but the dark lob is also clearly visible in these forms. The wingspan is 32-35mm and the flight period runs from June to mid-August in one generation. Host plant: Reed grass and Groin grass. Dutch name: Moeras-grasuil. Frisian name: Sompegersûltsje.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Luperina

Flounced Rustic – 2020 (NL)

The Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea) is an owlet moth that is variable in size, width, and color. The drawing on the forewing is fairly constant. The kidney mark and oval mark are usually partially black-edged and the black median lines mark the dark midfield. The color of the forewing varies from dull straw-colored, through light and dark brown to blackish brown, usually with a slight speckling. The hindwing is white or sometimes grey and slightly translucent, showing the light brown veins. The wingspan is 30-35mm and the flight period runs from July to early October in one generation. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Gewone grasuil. Frisian name: Gewoane gersûltsje.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Mesapamea

Common Rustic – 2017 (NL)

An owlet moth with many variations in color, from light to dark, is the Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalis). The forewing has a rounded back edge and a blunt apex. The kidney mark, which is sometimes largely white to cream-colored, has a clear white outline. The median lines vary in intensity and are sometimes connected by a black stain. Some specimens have a fairly recognizable and even appearance, others are blotchy. It is almost indistinguishable from the Lesser Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalella). Very dark specimens with a chalk-white kidney mark usually belong to the Lesser Common Rustic and on average this species is slightly smaller. Specimens with a pronounced white marking on the forewing always belong to the Common Rustic. In most cases, genitalia research is needed. The flying period is in one generation from May to September and the wingspan is 24-32mm. Host plant: Cock’s-foot, Tall Fescue, Tufted Hair-grass, and cereal crops. Dutch name: Common Rustic. Frisian name:

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Oligia

Tawny Marbled Minor – 2018 (NL)

The Tawny Marbled Minor (Oligia latruncula) is very similar to the other species in its family. It is often smaller, dark, and grey to blackish, with the wide band in the marginal area having a brown to coppery color. The chest piece usually does not show any orange or reddish tufts of hair. The apex can be brownish, but also light grey or light brown. With the lighter ones, the white wavy line, which borders on the dark median band, is very noticeable. The flight period is from mid-May to August and the wingspan is 24-27mm. Host plant: Variety of grasses. Dutch name: Donker halmuiltje. Frisian name:

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Oligia

Marbled Minor – 2018 (NL)

The Marbled Minor (Oligia strigilis), like the other minors, is very variable and difficult to distinguish from the other species in his family. The clearly drawn copies are best distinguished because of their black bar between the two central transverse lines and the rather light band in the zoom field. It has an orange tuft on the top of the chest piece which is characteristic. Furthermore, the multi-incised and strong, and clearly lobed inner edge of the light band in the zoom field is characteristic. The notches are visible as thin black stripes on the veins in the marginal area. The most noticeable lob is chalk white and is closest to the dorsum. When in doubt, genitals should provide a solution. The flight period is in one generation from May to the end of August and the wingspan is 22-25mm. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Gelobd halmuiltje. Frisian name:

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Oligia

Middle-barred Minor – 2019 (NL)

The Middle-barred Minor (Oligia fasciuncula) is best recognized among the minors. The ground color of the top of the forewing is yellow-brown to orange-brown. The most characteristic is the dark median band, which is bordered by white-lined transverse lines. The oval and kidney marks are light-colored and not noticeably edged. The flying period is in one generation from May to July and the wingspan is 22-26mm. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Oranjegeel halmuiltje. Frisian name: Oranjegiel halmûltsje.

 

Tribe: Apameini
Genus: Rhizedra

Large Wainscot – 2018 (NL)

The Large Wainscot (Rhizedra lutosa) is a fairly large owlet moth. The narrow, tapering forewing often has a sharp, sometimes slightly bending apex. The base color ranges from straw grey or light greyish brown to light reddish-brown. A grey or blackish pollination is often present on the wing. On the forewing a light vein is visible and a small dark core of the almost invisible kidney mark. The post-median line consists of a row of dark dots. The chest piece often has a fine, comb-like median line. The flying period is in one generation from late July to November and the wingspan is 42-50mm. Host plant: Common reed. Dutch name: Herfstrietboorder. Frisian name: Hjerstreidboarder.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Agrotis

Heart and Dart – 2015 (NL)

The Heart and Dart (Agrotis clavis) has a light brown to dark brown ground color. On the forewing, you can always see a clearly striking dark dart mark in the longitudinal direction of the veins. The owl marks are colored darker than the ground color and clearly recognizable. It flies in two generations from May to October and the wingspan is 30-38mm. Host plant: Ribwort Plantain and Fat-hen. Dutch name: Gewone worteluil. Frisian name: Gersûltsje.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Agrotis

Shuttle-shaped Dart – 2017 (NL)

The Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) has a light oval mark on the forewing with a dark core. The male has a light brown forewing on which the kidney mark is difficult to see. The oval mark does stand out clearly. The female has a much more dark-colored forewing. It flies in two generations from April to October and the wingspan is 30-32 mm. Host plant: Sorrel, Dandelion, and lettuce. Dutch name: Puta-uil. Frisian name: Putaûltsje.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Agrotis

Dark Sword-grass – 2018 (NL)

An easily recognizable owlet moth is the Dark Sword-grass (Agrotis ipsilon). Characteristic is the elongated black arrow-shaped streak on the outside of the kidney mark. This streak extends far into the costal area and sometimes touches the smaller arrow spots on the inside of the wave line. In a resting position, the wings are folded over each other, creating a narrow and long impression. The wings vary in color from light to dark brown with the light specimens having a dark streak along the front edge. The flight period is from April to October in two generations and the wingspan is 35-50mm. Host plant: Various herbaceous plants, grasses, and vegetables. Dutch name: Grote worteluil. Frisian name: Grutte woartelûle.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Diarsia

Small Square-spot – 2017 (NL)

The Small Square-spot (Diarsia rubi) has a reddish glow (rubi = red) over the top of the forewing. The wing also has a reddish-brown or dark brown band and speckling. The post-median line is edged on the outside with a very dark line that gradually merges into a lighter zone. Between the kidney and the oval mark is a dark square spot. The flight period is from May to October in two generations and the wingspan is 28-33mm. Host plant: Dandelion, Sorrel, and Foxglove. Dutch name: Gewone breedvleugeluil. Frisian name: Gewoan breedwjukûltsje.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Noctua

Large Yellow Underwing – 2008 (NL)

The Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) is very variable in color but a characteristic owlet moth with a long narrow rounded forewing. The color of the forewing can vary from red-brown to black-brown with little marking to light brown with light brown or grey marbling. There is a black spot where the wave line touches the costa. The hindwing is orange with a narrow black dorsum. The kidney and oval marks are clearly visible. It flies at night in one generation from June to October and the wingspan is 42-52mm. During the day they are hidden in low bushes or plants. Host plant: Dock, Marigolds, Foxglove, and Annual Meadow-grass. Dutch name: Huismoeder. Frisian name: Tsjoenster.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Noctua

Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing – 2017 (NL)

The Lesser Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthe) is difficult to distinguish from the Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthina). This is especially the case in the resting position. The difference between the two is best seen in the yellow hindwing. This owlet moth has a purple or reddish-brown forewing with a dark transverse band that turns into a light zone. The owl marks are barely visible. The legs are colored from a light solid color in a part with black rings. The flight period is ranging from June to September and the wingspan is 30-40mm. Host plant: White Dead-nettle, Broad-leaved Dock and Scentless Mayweed. Dutch name: Open-breedbandhuismoeder. Frisian name: Iepenbreedbântsjoenster.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Noctua

Lunar Yellow Underwing – 2017 (NL)

The Lunar Yellow Underwing (Noctua orbona) is very similar to the Lesser Yellow Underwing (Noctua comes) which has a wider forewing. The Lunar Yellow Underwing has a clearly delimited black spot on the mostly greyish-brown forewing close to the apex. This black spot is missing from the Lesser Yellow Underwing. The orange-yellow hindwing has a dark moon-shaped median spot and a narrow black band runs along the termen. Often against the costa of the forewing, just below the kidney mark, there is a small dark spot with a whitish spot next to it. The flying period is in one generation from May to September and the wingspan is 38-45mm. Host plant: Various grasses and herbaceous plants. Dutch name: Zwartpuntvolgeling. Frisian name: Swartpuntfolgeling.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Noctua

Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing – 2019 (NL)

For the identification of the Yellow Underwings it is important to take a look at the top of the hindwings. They are very characteristic and allow you to identify the right species. For the Langmaid’s Yellow Underwing (Noctua janthina), I was lucky enough to be able to take a picture at the right time. This owlet moth is somewhat smaller than its relatives and has a purple or reddish forewing that sometimes looks blue-grey. The markings on the forewing are relatively difficult to see. You often see a clear banding. The most characteristic is the hindwing, which is ocher yellow with a large dark spot at the base of the wing and a very wide blackish band along the termen, which are joined together along the costa. In the more or less enclosed round or oval orange field in between, you usually see black veins. The flying period is in one generation from late June to September and a wingspan of 35mm. Host plant: Various herbaceous plants. Dutch name: Kleine breedbandhuismoeder. Frisian name: Lytse broadbântsjoenster.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Noctua

Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing – 2020 (NL)

To recognize the yellow underwing species you should always pay attention to the hindwing to ensure correct identification. This is not immediately necessary for the Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Noctua fimbriata). The color of the top of the forewing is variable, but the drawing is fairly constant. The forewing of the male is reddish-brown to olive green and in the female, it is light brown, light green, or reddish-brown. The transverse lines are imperforate and on the orange-yellow hindwing, a broad black seam runs along the back edge. The white legs are ringed black and white at the end. The wingspan is 45-55mm and the flight period is from June to October in one generation. Host plant: Common Nettle, Sorrel, Birch, Blackberry, Privet, and Willow. Dutch name: Breedbandhuismoeder. Frisian name: Breedbântsjoenster.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Ochropleura

Flame Shoulder – 2017 (NL)

The Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) is most noticeable because of its yellow-colored broad streak along the costa. There is a black streak right next to this light streak and the rest of the wing is dark brown. The owl marks are clearly noticeable because of the white outline. On the head is a striking light brown hair tuft. The flight period is from April to October in two and sometimes three generations and its wingspan is 24-30mm. Host plant: Bedstraws, docks, Groundsel, and Ribwort Plantain. Dutch name: Haarbos. Frisian name: Hierbosk.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Xestia

Setaceous Hebrew Character – 2017 (NL)

The Setacous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) is easily recognized by the striking straw yellow triangular spot along the costa of the forewing. A black spot in the form of an angular ‘C’ adjoins this light spot. The collar of this owlet moth is also straw yellow. The rest of the forewing is dark grey. The hindwing is white and has a grey speckling along the termen. It flies in two generations from April to December and the wingspan is 28-38mm. Host plant: Common Nettle, White Dead-nettle, willowherbs, and burdocks. Dutch name: Zwarte C-uil. Frisian name: Swart c-ûltsje.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Xestia

Square-spot Rustic – 2018 (NL)

An owlet moth mainly seen in late summer is the Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa). It has a very variable variety of colors. The light and or slightly outlined kidney mark is characteristic. They sometimes appear square due to the dark padding at the ends of the lobes. The oval mark is often light and between the oval and kidney mark, there is often a dark stain. The scalloped transverse lines are not always visible. The outer transverse line is always visible as a row of dots or dashes. The color of the forewing varies from light brown to red or greyish brown. The flight period is in one generation from late July to October and the wingspan is 32-35mm. Host plant: Grasses and herbaceous plants such as plantains and cleavers. Dutch name: Vierkantvlekuil. Frisian name: Fjouwkantflekûltsje.

 

Tribe: Noctuini
Genus: Xestia

Double Square-spot – 2020 (NL)

An owlet moth that closely resembles the Triple-spotted Clay (Xestia ditrapezium) is the Double Square-spot (Xestia triangulum). The moderately broad forewing is usually light greyish-brown with sometimes a reddish or pinkish tint. Sometimes the forewing is darker or predominantly grey. The Double Square-spot has a slightly wider and lighter forewing than the Triple-spotted Clay and a grey-brown hindwing where the Triple-spotted Clay has a light brown hindwing. A faint central spot can be seen on the hindwing and the fringes are slightly lighter colored than the hindwing. The difference is best seen in the zone between the ante-median line and the median line. In the Double Square-spot, this zone is as light as the base. This zone is darker in the Triple-spotted Clay. The forewing shows a black field in which the lighter oval mark protrudes obliquely. The black spots above and below the oval mark are often not connected. Near the apex of the forewing, a black spot can be seen that distinguishes it from the similar Square-spotted Clay (Xestia stigmatica). The flight period is from May to September in one generation and the wingspan is 36-46mm. Host plant: Plantain, Sorrel, and Common Nettle. Dutch name: Driehoekuil. Frisian name: Trijehoekûltsje.

 

Tribe:
Genus: Axylia

The Flame – 2017 (NL)

The Flame (Axylia putris) is a narrow owlet moth in a resting position because the wings are folded around the body. Because of the light brown woody color and the folding of the wings, the butterfly looks like a stem or twig. The kidney mark is located on the border of the light color and the dark color along the costa. It flies in one sometimes two generations from May to September and the wingspan is 28-32mm. Host plant: Common Nettle, White Dead-nettle, Hound’s-tongue, and Hedge Bedstraw. Dutch name: Houtspaander. Frisian name: Houtspuonûltsje.

 

Tribe:
Genus: Caradrina

Mottled Rustic – 2017 (NL)

The Mottled Rustic (Caradrina morpheus) has an ocher brown to brown-grey color. Both the kidney and the oval mark are dark-colored and therefore clearly visible. Both owl marks are not edged with a light color. An orange-colored line often runs through the kidney mark. The top of the hindwing is white and dark veins and fringes. It flies in one generation from May to August and the wingspan is 32-38mm. Host plant: Nettle and Dandelion. Dutch name: Morpheusstofuil. Frisian name:

 

Tribe:
Genus: Globia

Webb’s Wainscot – 2017 (NL)

The Webb’s Wainscot (Globia sparganii) has a yellow-brown ground color. Two rows of black spots can be seen on the wings, one at the fringe line and one slightly more inward. The center of the forewing shows a black streak that extends from the base to the two black spots in the midfield. The flight period is in one generation from July to October and the wingspan is 32-40mm. Host plant: Yellow Iris, Reed-mace, and similar watery plants. Dutch name: Egelskopboorder. Frisian name: