White-speck Noctuidae

Mythimna unipuncta (Haworth, 1809)

Description: Wingspan 41-48 mm. Forewings reddish brown, sometimes paler in colour, with fine black speckling. A fine basal white line extends to a central white dot. There is also a dark coloured apical streak, which in some individuals can be greatly reduced. Hindwings darkish grey with a paler fringe

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Adults have been recorded in N. Ireland from mid-September to early October.

Status: A scarce migrant from the Mediterranean that appears occasionally in N. Ireland. All except one record have been from the south east coast of Down. It was first recorded in 1988 at Seaforde Estate and again in Dundrum in 1996. Four were recorded in 2000 at Castleward Murlough National Nature Reserve (2) and inland at a mature garden near Moy, Co. Tyrone.

Ecology: This species has been recorded more frequently in recent years due to increased trapping at coastal localities. Adults are attracted to light and are also said to visit Ivy Hedera helix blossom. The larvae are nocturnal and unlikely to survive here. They will accept various grasses if reared in captivity.

World Distribution: Widespread throughout the Mediterranean region and it has also been reported as far north as the Netherlands.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2203 Agassiz number: 73.296

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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