Noctuinae

The Noctuinae are a subfamily of the owlet moths (Noctuidae). The front wings of these butterflies are 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

Dark Arches – 2008 (NL)

The Dark Arches (Apamea monoglypha) is somewhat larger than its counterparts. The top of the front wing is grey-brown or grey-yellow and the owl marks are clearly visible. The eye mark is elongated and slopes upwards. In the light wave line near the outer edge 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.

 

Common Rustic – 2017 (NL)

An owlet moth with many variations in colour, from light to dark, is the Common Rustic (Mesapamea secalis). The front wing has a rounded back edge and a blunt wingtip. The kidney mark, which is sometimes largely white to cream coloured, has a clear white outline. The central transverse 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 front wing 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: –

 

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 colour 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.

 

Webb’s Wainscot – 2017 (NL)

The Webb’s Wainscot (Globia sparganii) has a yellow-brown ground colour. Two rows of black spots can be seen on the wings, one at the fringe line and one slightly more inward. The centre of the front wing shows a black streak that extends from the wing root 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: –

 

Clouded-bordered Brindle – 2018 (NL)

A variable species with two distinct colour forms is the Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata). One color form is light yellow to brown, slightly red or gray tinted front wing. Striking are the dark brown, broad shoulders that run into two black stripes at the inner edge of the wing. In a resting postion the two black stripes seem to converge. Several reddish brown spots and streaks are visible along the leading edge of the wing. There are also reddish-brown toothed spots in the trailing edge of the wing. The other color form has a reddish dark brown front wing that is drawn quite smoothly and only shows the yellowish-outlined kidney and eye 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.

 

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 hem field having a brown to coppery colour. The chest piece usually does not show any orange or reddish tufts of hair. The wingtips can be brownish, but also light grey or light brown. With the lighter ones, the white wavy line, which borders on the dark middle 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: –

 

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 zoom field. The most noticeable lob is chalk white and is closest to the inner edge of the wing. 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: –

 

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 front edge and the back edge of this owlet moth form a fairly right angle. The top of the front wing 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 zoom field, 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.

 

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-coloured, 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 leading edge. The outer transverse line runs diagonally across the wing and makes a sharp turn at the leading edge towards the wing root. The part between the two transverse lines is darker than the rest of the wing. The ring 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: –

 

Large Wainscot – 2018 (NL)

The Large Wainscot (Rhizedra lutosa) is a fairly large owlet moth. The narrow, tapering front wing often has a sharp, sometimes slightly bending wingtip. The base colour 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 front wing a light vein is visible and a small dark core of the almost invisible kidney mark. The outer transverse line consists of a row of dark dots. The chest piece often has a fine, comb-like centre 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.

 

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 front wing has a light to dark, reddish-brown or olive-brown colour and a variable, sometimes rough, marbled appearance. There are two black stripes in the root field, one in the centre and one near the inner edge of the wing. The stripe in the centre, 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: –

 

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 front wing is fairly wide, sand-coloured or greyish-brown and has a fairly pointed wingtip. The ring 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 zoom field. 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: –

 

Middle-barred Minor – 2019 (NL)

The Middle-barred Minor (Oligia fasciuncula) is best recognized among the minors. The ground colour of the top of the forewings is yellow-brown to orange-brown. The most characteristic is the dark middle band, which is bordered by white-lined transverse lines. The ring and kidney marks are light-coloured 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.

 

Double-lobed – 2020 (NL)

The Double Lobed (Lateroligia ophiogramma, alternatively Apamea ophiogramma) is a slender built owlet moth with sand-coloured or light reddish-brown forewings. Characteristic is the reddish-brown to dark brown field along the leading edge. The field includes the ring mark and the light-coloured 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.

 

Fen Wainscot – 2020 (NL)

A moth that has no pronounced characteristics is the Fen Wainscot (Arenostola phragmitidis). The forewing has a solid colour, grey or reddish-tinged yellow-brown colour, without any markings. Closer to the wing seam, the wing becomes darker in colour and the fringe dark brown. The hindwing is grey and has a lighter fringe. The wingspan is 32-36mm and the flight period is from June to early September in one generation. Host plant: Reed. Dutch name: Egale rietboorder. Frisian name: Egale Reidboarder.

 

Cloaked Minor – 2020 (NL)

Sometimes you are not really looking for butterflies, you walk outside and you suddenly see an interesting moth. This was also the case with the Cloaked Minor (Mesoligia furucula). While I walked around the house in the afternoon, I suddenly see this sand-coloured owlet moth. Despite the many variations in colour and size, the Cloaked Minor is usually easy to recognize. A strikingly straight division can be seen between the inner and outer wing half. In the most characteristic shape, you can see a contrast-rich dichotomy between the dark brown inner wing half and the whitish with light brown outer half. The light ring and kidney mark are often clearly present. It can be confused with the Rosy Minor (Litoligia literosa), but this minor is larger, has no dark wing seam and the division between the two wing halves is less clear. The wingspan is 20-24mm and the flight period runs from June to mid-September in one generation. Host plant: Rough, smooth, rough sheep grass, zinc sheep grass and shiny oats. Dutch name: Zandhalmuiltje. Frisian name: –

 

Flounced Rustic – 2020 (NL)

The Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea) is an owlet moth that is variable in size, width and colour. The drawing on the front wing is fairly constant. The kidney mark and eye mark are usually partially black-edged and the black centre transverse lines mark the dark midfield. The colour of the forewings varies from dull straw-coloured, 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: Caradrinini

The Uncertain – 2017 (NL)

The Uncertain (Hoplodrina octogenaria) has a forewing that has a brown to yellow-brown colour at the top. Characteristic is the grey speckling, which makes it look as if there is a layer of dust over the wings or whether the moth has already flown off. This was also the case with the specimen I first spotted. Two dark transverse bands run across the forewing. The inner is quite coarsely scaly while the outer has a finer shape. The small ring mark and the kidney mark are darker than the base colour. It flies in one generation from May to August and the wingspan is 28-34mm. Host plant: Dock and Plantain. Dutch name: Gewone stofuil. Frisian name: Gewoan stofûltsje.

 

Mottled Rustic – 2017 (NL)

The Mottled Rustic (Caradrina morpheus) has an ocher brown to brown-grey colour. Both the kidney and the ring mark are dark coloured and therefore clearly visible. Both owl marks are not edged with a light colour. An orange-coloured line often runs through the kidney mark. The top of the rear wing 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: –

 

Vine’s Rustic – 2017 (NL)

The Vine’s Rustic (Hoplodrina ambigua) is an owlet moth very similar to its immediate relatives. The forewing is light brown with grey speckles. The ring and kidney marks are clearly visible with their brown colour and the white border around it. The front edge of the forewing is almost straight and narrower than with the Uncertain (Hoplodrina octogenaria). Two dotted transverse lines can be seen on the top of the forewing. The flight period is from May to October in two generations and the wingspan is 32-34mm. Host plant: Dock and Plantain. Dutch name: Zuidelijke stofuil. Frisian name: –

 

The Rustic – 2017 (NL)

The Rustic (Hoplodrina blanda) is difficult to distinguish from a number of other relatives, in particular the Uncertain. The outer wavy transverse line in the Rustic (Hoplodrina octogenaria) consists more or less of black dots instead of a continuous line. The owl marks are larger than with the Uncertain and are white-rimmed. The flight period is in one generation from June to September and a wingspan of 31-35mm. Host plant: Variety of low plants. Dutch name: Egale stofuil. Frisian name: Gewoan stofûltsje.

 

Treble lines – 2019 (NL)

The solidly built Treble Lines (Charanyca trigrammica) has a broad, slightly tapered forewing. Characteristic is the pattern of three roughly parallel dark transverse lines on a lighter, smooth surface. The inner and outer transverse lines are thin and quite sharp, and the middle one is a wider diffuse line. The colour of the wing is a mixture of grey or orange-brown and milky white with fine dark speckling. The costal area is often darker than the rest of the wing. The flight period is from the end of April to the end of July in one generation and the wingspan is 35-40mm. Host plant: Plantain and Dandelion. Dutch name: Drielijnuil. Frisian name: Trijelynûltsje.

 

Silky Wainscot – 2020 (NL)

The Silky Wainscot (Chilodes maritima) is a slender owlet moth with a greyish forewing. The forewing has a curved leading edge that forms an almost right angle with the trailing edge. The colours and markings are variable. Most specimens have fine grey veins and a fine black speckling. It resembles the Reed Veneer(Chilo phragmitella) and Bulrush Veneer (Calamotropha paludella), but these micro-moths from the grass moth family (Crambidae) have long palps. There are also specimens that have a striking ring and kidney mark, such as the first specimen I saw of this species. The hindwing is white. The wingspan is 29-36mm and the flying period is from June to September in one generation. Host plant: Reeds and living and dead invertebrates. Dutch name: Smalvleugelrietboorder. Frisian name: Smelwjukreidboarder.

 

Tribe: Dypterygiini

Orache Moth – 2019 (NL)

The Orache Moth (Trachea atriplicis) is a brownish-grey owlet moth with moss-green spots on the top of the forewing and a white zig-zagging transverse line. Characteristic is the slanting pinkish-white streak in the midfield. The owl marks are partly white-rimmed. The flight time is from May to October in two generations and its wingspan is 38-42mm. Host plant: Orache and Goosefoot. Dutch name: Meldevlinder. Frisian name: Mealjeflinter.

 

Bird’s Wing – 2019 (NL)

A very recognizable and easily identifiable owlet moth is the Bird’s Wing (Dypterygia scabriuscula). The predominantly black wings have a light brown inner edge that tapers towards the inner edge in two arches into a wider brown spot against the trailing edge. The top of the chest piece connects to this rear edge and is also brown and adorned with a hair-shaped crest. Near the wingtip is a light brown spot. The owl marks are the same colour as the wing and are surrounded with a dark thin line. The flight period is from mid-April to August in two generations and its wingspan is 32-37mm. Host plant: Dock and Knotgrass. Dutch name: Vogelwiekje. Frisian name: Fûgelwjukje.

 

Tribe: Hadenini

Cabbage Moth – 2014 (NL)

The Cabbage Moth (Mamestra brassicae) has a striking white outline of the kidney mark. The outer transverse line is corrugated with the inner edge also being white. The ground colour of the top of the front wing is otherwise dark grey-brown. It flies in two generations from April to October and the wingspan is 37-45mm. Host plant: Cabbage, Willow and Oak. Dutch name: Kooluil. Frisian name: Koalûltsje.

 

Dot – 2017 (NL)

The Dot (Melanchra persicariae) has a black forewing with a striking white kidney mark. A grey half moon can be seen in the kidney mark. Along the front edge often a white wavy line and some white spots can be seen. The chest piece often shows a small bunch of reddish-brown hairs. This owlet moth flies in one generation from May to September and its wingspan is 32-42mm. Host plant: Common Nettle, Hop, Field Bindweed, Hazel and Elder. Dutch name: Perzikkruiduil. Frisian name: Bultrûpûltsje.

 

The Nutmeg – 2017 (NL)

An important characteristic of the Nutmeg (Anarta trifolii) is the clear white ‘W’ in the light, black-deposited wave line. The ground colour is brownish light to dark grey. The inner lobe of the fairly large kidney mark is always darker than the base colour of the wing. The midfield and wingtips are lighter coloured. The flight period is from mid-April to mid-October in two and sometimes three generations and its wingspan is 30-35mm. Host plant: Orache and Goosefoot. Dutch name: Spurrie-uil. Frisian name: Sparjeûltsje.

 

Bright-line Brown-eye – 2018 (NL)

An owlet moth I come across more often on insect control websites is the Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea). This concerns the laying of their eggs on crops that are grown in greenhouses. This rusty brown owlet moth has a ringed white spot and an orange-yellow spot in the dark kidney mark (the brown-eye). Characteristic is the clear white wavy line with the ‘W’ in it (bright-line). The flight period is from April to October in two and sometimes three generations and its wingspan is 28-38mm. Host plant: Common Nettle, St. John’s wort, Hazel, Willow and hops. Dutch name: Groente-uil. Frisian name: Grienteûltsje.

 

Tribe: Leucaniini

Southern Wainscot – 2017 (NL)

The Southern Wainscot (Mythimna straminea) has a front wing with a straight trailing edge, unlike its relatives. The top of the forewing is light yellowish-white with a slightly pinkish hue. A brown streak runs along the pale central vein. The hindwing is white with dark veins and grey speckles. The resembling Smoky Wainscot (Mythimna impura) has more rounded forewings and is missing the grey line over the collar, seen in front view, which is unique for the Southern Wainscot. It flies in one generation from June to September and its wingspan is 32-40mm. Host plant: Reed and Canary-grass. Dutch name: Spitsvleugelgrasuil. Frisian name: Skerpwjukgersûltsje.

 

Common Wainscot – 2017 (NL)

The Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens) has a forewing with a light yellow to brownish top. Sometimes brown streaks are visible. It has no clear markings other than the white veins. The top of the hindwing is white. The resembling Smoky Wainscot (Mythimna impura) is darker and has a dark grey hindwing. This owlet moth flies in two generations from May to October and has a wingspan of 30-35mm. Despite being a moth, you will also encounter them during the day while they are resting in the long grass. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Bleke grasuil. Frisian name: Bleek gersûltsje.

 

White-point – 2018 (NL)

At the beginning of the autumn, some new species were recorded. One of them was the White-point (Mythimna albipuncta). This is an owlet moth with a warm orange-brown ground colour with a sharp white round spot that forms part of the otherwise not or hardly visible kidney mark. The hindwing is smoke grey and the male has a black band at the base of the underside of the abdomen. The flight period is from April to early November in two, sometimes three generations and its wingspan is 30-35mm. Host plant: Various grasses. Dutch name: Witstipgrasuil. Frisian name: –

 

Shoulder-striped Wainscot – 2019 (NL)

A solidly built owlet moth with a greyish-brown or dull straw-coloured front wing with white veins is the Shoulder-striped Wainscot (Leucania comma). The white central vein ends in the centre of the front wing in a bulge that is roughly comma-shaped. Striking is the deep black shoulder stripe that runs from the wing base along the white central vein to the midfield. The various blackish stripes in the costal area and the light streak along the front edge are also striking. There is little variation in colour and markings. The hindwing is brown. The flight period is in one generation from mid-May to late July and sometimes a second generation from mid-September to mid-October. The wingspan is 32-37mm. Host plant: Various grasses, especially Cock’s-foot. Dutch name: Komma-uil. Frisian name: Kommaûltsje.

 

Smoky Wainscot – 2020 (NL)

A wainscot that is difficult to identify is the Smoky Wainscot (Mythimna impura). The front wing, unlike its family members, is fairly rounded. Characteristic is the distinctive brown or black stripe along the whitish main vein on the forewing that is yellowish in colour. Two black dots can be seen along that main vein, which forms together with the black dot at the rear edge, a triangle. The striped bottom of the forewing is speckled in black and the top of the hindwing is often dark grey. The similar Common Wainscot (Mythimna pallens) is often lighter in colour and has a white hindwing. The similar Southern Wainscot (Mythimna straminea) has a forewing with a straight trailing edge that bends slightly outward just before the wingtip. Furthermore, this wainscot has a narrow grey line over the collar, which can be seen in the front view. The wingspan is 31-38mm and the flight period is from May to September in one generation. Host plant: Grasses and reed. Dutch name: Stompvleugelgrasuil. Frisian name: Stompwjukgersûltsje.

 

The Clay – 2020 (NL)

The Clay (Mythimna ferrago) has a striking white spot in the kidney mark. This pale white spot is teardrop-shaped, which distinguishes The Clay from the White-point (Mythimna albipuncta). With the White-point, this spot is much whiter and round in shape. The Clay is also larger than the White-point and has a wider forewing. The top of the forewing is yellow-brown to slightly reddish-brown, and the curved outer transverse line can be seen as a row of black dots. With the White-point, this is more a light band. The hindwing is dark grey. The males have a black triangle or chevron on the underside of the abdomen. The wingspan is 35-40mm and the flight period runs from June to September in one generation. Host plant: Various grasses, Dandelion and Chickweed. Dutch name: Gekraagde grasuil. Frisian name: –

 

Tribe: Noctuini

Large Yellow Underwing – 2008 (NL)

The Large Yellow Underwing (Noctua pronuba) is a very variable in colour but a characteristic owlet moth with long narrow rounded forewings. The colour of the front wings 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 leading edge. The hindwing is orange with a narrow black trailing edge. The kidney and ring 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.

 

Heart and Dart – 2015 (NL)

The Heart and Dart (Agrotis clavis) has a light brown to dark brown ground colour. On the forewing you can always see a clearly striking dark small streak in the longitudinal direction of the veins. The owl marks are coloured darker than the ground colour 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.

 

The Flame – 2017 (NL)

The Flame (Axylia putris) is a narrow owlet moth in resting position because the wings are folded around the body. Because of the light brown woody colour 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 colour and the dark colour along the leading edge. 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.

 

Shuttle-shaped Dart – 2017 (NL)

The Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis puta) has a light eye mark on the front wing with a dark core. The male has a light brown forewing on which the kidney mark is difficult to see. The eye mark does stand out clearly. The female has a much more dark-coloured 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.

 

Setaceous Hebrew Character – 2017 (NL)

The Setacous Hebrew Character (Xestia c-nigrum) is easily recognized by the striking straw yellow triangular spot along the front edge 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 front wing is dark grey. The hindwing is white and has a grey speckling along the rear edge. 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.

 

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 coloured from a light solid colour 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.

 

Small Square-spot – 2017 (NL)

The Small Square-spot (Diarsia rubi) has a reddish glow (rubi = red) over the top of the forewings. The wings also have a reddish-brown or dark brown band and speckling. The outer transverse line is edged on the outside with a very dark line that gradually merges into a lighter zone. Between the kidney and the eye 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.

 

Flame Shoulder – 2017 (NL)

The Flame Shoulder (Ochropleura plecta) is most noticeable because of its yellow-coloured broad streak along the leading edge. 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.

 

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 front wing close to the wingtip. This black spot is missing from the Lesser Yellow Underwing. The orange-yellow hindwing has a dark moon-shaped central spot and a narrow black band runs along the rear edge. Often against the leading edge of the front wing, 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.

 

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 colour 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.

 

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 colours. 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 eye mark is often light and between the eye 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 colour of the front wing 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.

 

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 rear edge, which are joined together along the front edge. 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.

 

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 colour 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.

 

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 front wing than the Triple-spotted Clay and a grey-brown hindwing where the Triple-spotted Clay has a light brown rear wing. A faint centre spot can be seen on the hindwing and the fringes are slightly lighter coloured than the hindwing. The difference is best seen in the zone between the transverse line delimiting the root field and the inner transverse line. In the Double Square-spot, this zone is as light as the root field. This zone is darker in the Triple-spotted Clay. The front wing shows a black field in which the lighter eye mark protrudes obliquely. The black spots above and below the eye mark are often not connected. Near the wing tip on the front wing, 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: Orthosiini

Common Quaker – 2018 (NL)

One of the Quaker species, which are fairly easy to recognize, is the Common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi). The wingtip of the forewing is rounded and this owlet moth has a striking, slightly outlined, large eye mark and a broad kidney mark. Striking is also the light, slightly darkened wavy line on the front wing. The highly variable ground colour ranges from light sandy brown to warm brown and orange or greyish brown to blackish brown. The flight period is in one generation from February to June and the wingspan is 34-40mm. Host plant: Oak, Willow, Birch, Hawthorn and fruit trees. Dutch name: Tweestreepvoorjaarsuil. Frisian name: –

 

Small Quaker – 2018 (NL)

The Small Quaker (Orthosia cruda) is easily distinguishable from the other Quakers because of its small size. In addition, it is quite light in colour and has an even appearance. The forewing has a rough, speckled appearance due to the blackish scales scattered over the wing. Of the markings, often only the narrow kidney mark and the light wavy line are clearly visible. You see the cross lines as rows of blackish dots. It flies in one generation from early March to mid-May and its wingspan is 25-30mm. Host plant: Oak, Birch, Hazel and Willow. Dutch name: Kleine voorjaarsuil. Frisian name: Foarjiersûltsje.

 

Clouded Drab – 2018 (NL)

A Quaker that is usually easy to recognize is the Clouded Drab (Orthosia incerta). The forewing always has an angular wingtip and the markings are usually quite rough and blotchy. On the inside of the light, slightly irregular wave line, there are almost always some small dark spots visible just before the centre and at the inner edge of the wing. In dark specimens, as I spotted it, these spots are less clear. The colour and markings vary widely: there are blackish or dark reddish-brown specimens with unclear markings, some are light brown, reddish-grey or light grey with dark brown or blackish speckles and spots. In many specimens, the grey chest piece contrasts with the dark wings. The flight period is from March to early June in one generation and the wingspan is 35-40mm. Host plant: Oak, Willow, Blackthorn and fruit trees. Dutch name: Variabele voorjaarsuil. Frisian name: –

 

Pine Beauty – 2019 (NL)

It will be cold for a long time in 2019 and will last well into April before the first moths appear attracted on the canvas. The first new species in 2019 was the Pine Beauty (Panolis flammea). This owlet moth can be recognized by the strikingly light, sharply defined and characteristic kidney mark. The kidney mark is elongated, curved and extends towards the wingtip. The pointed forewing has an orange-brown, reddish-brown or brick-red colour. Some specimens are more greenish-grey. In the resting position, this owlet moth keeps the wings like a roof above the abdomen. The flight period is from March to early June in one generation and the wingspan is 30-33mm. Host plant: Scots pine. Dutch name: Dennenuil. Frisian name: Dinneûltsje.

 

Tribe: Phlogophorini

Angle Shades – 2016 (NL)

The Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa) rests on walls or posts during the day. The specimen I spotted pulled up on our table when we had a cup of coffee on a terrace in the morning. Fresh butterflies have an olive-green colour and the wings are strongly folded in resting position, with the front edge bent backwards. In this way it gives the impression of a withered autumn leaf. On the forewings, three contiguous, V-shaped, coloured zones can be recognized when resting. It flies in two generations from May to October and the wingspan is 42-50mm. Host plant: Common Nettle, Hop, Red Valerian, Broad-leaved Dock, Bramble, Hazel, birches and oaks. Dutch name: Agaatvlinder. Frisian name: Agaatflinter.

 

Small Angle Shades – 2020 (NL)

Like the Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa), the Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara) has a resting position that makes it look like a dead leaf. The leading edge of the wing is folded under the rest of the wing and the wingtip is downwards. The Small Angle Shades can be recognized by the white to pale yellow kidney mark that is located on the border of the dark middle band and the broad light brown or pink-brown zone at the trailing edge. In that broad light brown zone, the golden yellow spot near the kidney mark is clearly noticeable. The wingspan is 27-32mm and the flying period is from May to August in one generation. Host plant: Fern and birch. Dutch name: Levervlek. Frisian name: Leverflek.

 

Tribe: Tholerini

Feathered Gothic – 2018 (NL)

When checking the moth trap, I was very excited to find the Feathered Gothic (Tholera decimalis). The beautiful markings of yellowish-white veins on the forewing shows how beautiful moths actually can be. There are black arrow spots on the inside of the light-coloured wave line. The crosslines are dark and inconspicuous. The male is solidly built and has a wide forewing with a straight front edge. The female has an even wider forewing, the leading edge of which is straight or slightly curved. The flight period is in one generation from the beginning of August to the end of September and the wingspan is 32-45mm. Host plant: Hard-bladed grasses, including Mat-grass and Sheep’s Fescue. Dutch name: Gelijnde grasuil. Frisian name: –

 

Tribe: Xylenini

The Dun-bar – 2011 (NL)

The Dun-bar (Cosmia trapezina) has a diagonal transverse line on the front wing that runs from the front edge to the inner edge. The outer transverse line runs from the front edge at an acute angle to the inner edge. In the resting position, it, therefore, seems as if a ‘V’ is drawn on the wings. The kidney mark is clearly visible through the black dot that is present in it. There are also specimens that are light coloured and where the band between the two cross lines is very dark-coloured. It flies in one generation from June to October and the wingspan is 25-33mm. Host plant: Oak, Birch, Elm, Blackthorn, Hawthorn, Hazel, Willow and Poplar. Dutch name: Hyena. Frisian name: Hyenaûltsje.

 

Dusky-lemon Sallow – 2018 (NL)

A beautiful owlet moth I discovered in the moth trap is the Dusky-lemon Sallow (Xanthia gilvago). This owlet moth has a striking dull orange-yellow or orange-brown forewing and a dark brown spotty band pattern. This pattern is sometimes reduced to a few dark spots and unclear transverse lines. The inner lobe of the kidney mark is darkly filled. The hindwing is whitish and sometimes darker at the inner edge corner. The flight period is in one generation from late August to early November and the wingspan is 32-38mm. Host plant: Elm and various herbaceous plants. Dutch name: Iepengouduil. Frisian name: –

 

Beaded Chestnut – 2018 (NL)

A very variable owlet moth in colour but still easily recognizable is the Beaded Chestnut (Agrochola lychnidis). The forewing has a maroon or reddish-brown base colour, but can also be yellowish or sometimes darker and greyish. The dark eye mark is small and elongated, and the kidney mark is usually darker and narrow. On the inside of the wave line, a dark brown or blackish short slash or wedge-shaped spot can often be seen along the leading edge. In the midfield some weaker black spots are present. Some specimens have a weak pattern, others have striking light or dark transverse lines and light-coloured veins. The flight period is from September to mid-November in one generation and the wingspan is 30-35mm. Host plant: Various trees and shrubs. Dutch name: Variabele herfstuil. Frisian name: Fariabel hjerstûltsje.