Dotted Clay Noctuidae

Maps updated: April 2008

Xestia baja (Denis & Schiff., 1775)

Description: Wingspan 38-44 mm. Forewings are generally reddish brown with poorly-defined stigmata. There is a small black mark near the apex of the forewing. The postmedian line broken into a series of small black dots. Hindwings are greyish brown with a paler outer edge.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Beginning of July to the end of August.

Status: Common and widely distributed in all counties and on Rathlin Island.

Ecology: A common species found in woodland, heaths and bogs. Adults come frequently to light and also visit flowers, especially Ragwort Senecio jacobaea. The larvae feed from September to late spring on birch Betula spp., Bramble Rubus fruticosus, Bog Myrtle Myrica gale and Blackthorn Prunus spinosa. It overwinters as a larva.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe north to the Arctic Circle and as far south as Portugal.

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=6221

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