Dark Sword-grass Noctuidae

Agrotis ipsilon (Hufnagel, 1766)

Description: Wingspan 40-55mm. Forewings pale straw to dark brown; Stigmata well-defined with a small dark-coloured dart pointing towards the outer margin; there are also two smaller darts located near the outer margin that face inwards. Hindwings white with brown veining.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: April to November.

Status: Recorded from all counties and Rathlin Island, Antrim; most recent records from Armagh and Down.

Ecology: An immigrant that appears fairly frequently in most years and is probably an established short-term resident. Adults are usually seen in the autumn months at light. The larvae are polyphagous and are seldom seen since they feed at night.

World Distribution: Its range throughout Europe is not fully known, but it has been recorded as far north as Norway and Iceland.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2091 Agassiz number: 73.327

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=6177

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