Shears Noctuidae

Hada plebeja (Linnaeus, 1761)

Description: Wingspan 28-38 mm. Forewings greyish white with conspicuous white crosslines and a series of small white marks along the outer edge. There is a pale marking beside the stigmata which has the appearance of a pair of shears, and gives the moth its common name.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid May to late July.

Status: Widely distributed across southern counties. In the north, confined to the coastal area between Limavady and Portrush and on Rathlin Island, Antrim.

Ecology: A species associated with a variety of habitats such as woodland, bogs and coastal heaths. Adults are attracted to light in small numbers and will also visit flowers. It often rests on tree trunks and fence posts by day. The larvae feed in July and August on hawk's-beard Crepis spp., hawkweed Hieracium spp. and chickweed Stellaria spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe from Spain to the Arctic.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2147 Agassiz number: 73.273

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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