Red Chestnut Noctuidae

Cerastis rubricosa (Denis & Schiff., 1775)

Description: Wingspan 32-38 mm. Forewings are reddish brown with a few dark marks along the coastal edge and pale, wavy crosslines. Hindwings are pale straw suffused with a reddish tinge with a small discal spot. There is a pale outer fringe and a thin red line on the edge of the hindwings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Early March to mid May.

Status: Widely distributed in southern counties and not uncommon in many well-trapped localities. Most of the recent records are from the west including Garvary Wood, Legatillida, Gortmaconnell and Marble Arch, Fermanagh. It has also been reordered regularly from Rehaghy Mountain and Davagh Forest in Tyrone. The only recent records north of Lough Neagh are from Rathlin Island.

Ecology: A spring-flying moth associated with damp woodland, bogs and moorland. Adults come frequently to light and will also visit willow Salix spp. blossom. The larvae feed from May to June on groundsel Senecio vulgaris, docks Rumex spp., bedstraws Galium spp. and other herbaceous plants.

World Distribution: Widespread in northern and western Europe; rarer further south.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2139 Agassiz number: 73.336

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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