White Colon Noctuidae

Sideridis turbida (Hubner, 1813)

Description: Wingspan 38-44 mm. Forewings are variable in colour, ranging from pale brown through to dark grey. The stigmata and crosslines are poorly defined. There are two small white dots on the distal half of the wing, giving the species its common name. Hindwings are pale whitish brown, with darker veining and a lunar discal spot.

Similar Species: Cabbage Moth M. brassicae, which has the reniform stigmata clearly outlined and a curved spur on the tibia; the hindwings are also darker.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Not known in N. Ireland. Skinner gives late May and June as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: Currently unknown. There have been no records of this species since 1978 when it was recorded at Murlough National Nature Reserve, Down. The only other records are from the Magilligan area dating from the 19th Century and in 1971. Since nothing is known about its habits and behaviour in N. Ireland, it is difficult to speculate about its current status.

Ecology: A rare coastal species that inhabits coastal dunes and heaths. Adults are attracted to light and hide by day under sandy overhangs and concealed among the marram grass. The larvae feed from July until September on orache Atriplex spp., Sea Bindweed Calystegia soldanella, Chickweed Stellaria media and Common Restharrow Ononis repens. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe; mainly coastal further north.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2152 Agassiz number: 73.275

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=6243

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