Lunar Marbled Brown Notodontidae

Drymonia ruficornis (Hufnagel, 1767)

Description: Wingspan 38-46mm. Adults look brownish-grey when at rest. The forewings are brownish-grey with a pale basal spot. The middle third of the wings is white, edged with black wavy lines, and marked with a small, black crescent. The outer margin of the forewings is brownish grey. The hindwings are smoky-grey and unmarked.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Generally from the beginning of April (although some individuals have been recorded in late March), until the end of May.

Status: Widely distributed but local. Previously considered rare and restricted to a few sites in the west but now known to be present at sites in the east. In recent years recorded at some well-trapped sites such as the Argory, Armagh, Derryleckagh and Rostrevor NNR, Down, Garvary Wood and Monmurry, Fermanagh and Rehaghy, Tyrone, largely as a result of targeted fieldwork in spring.

Ecology: An attractive spring species that is mainly associated with mature oak Quercus spp. woodland. Adults are attracted to light and appear frequently in small numbers. The larvae can be found during July and August on oak. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout northern and central Europe as far east as Japan.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2015 Agassiz number: 71.011

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=6101

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