White-line Dart Noctuidae

Euxoa tritici (Linnaeus, 1761)

Description: Wingspan 28-40mm. The adults of this moth are very variable according to habitat. Forewing varies from pale, ochreous brown to dark chocolate brown. Most individuals have a pale, costal stripe. There are usually black, wedge-shaped marks near the outer margin of forewings. Stigmata are usually present but are also variable in size. Many specimens also have pale, whitish crosslines on the forewings. The hindwings are pale, whitish brown.

Similar Species: Square-spot Dart E. obelisca, which is usually darker brown and lacks the subterminal wedge-shaped marks and costal stripe

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-July to mid-September, occasionally later in some years.

Status: Widely distributed but more common in the east, especially Down. A majority of records are from coastal localities, but there are inland records including suburban gardens in the Belfast area. Sporadic elsewhere, with records from Magilligan and the Umbra, Londonderry, and Whitepark Bay, Glenarriff Forest Park and Rathlin Island, Antrim.

Ecology: A species mainly associated with coastal habitats in Ireland. Adults appear commonly at light. Adults visit flowers especially Ragwort Senecio jacobaea and Heather Calluna vulgaris. The larvae feed mainly at night on various herbaceous plants from March to June. It overwinters as an egg.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; occurs as far north as Scandinavia south to Portugal.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2081 Agassiz number: 73.313

Additional information:

UK Moths account


 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland