Shoulder-striped Wainscot Noctuidae

Leucania comma (Linnaeus, 1761)

Description: Wingspan 35-42 mm. Forewings are ochreous brown with paler veining marked with a black-coloured basal streak which extends to the middle of the forewing and a white median dot in central area of wing. There are a series of fine black streaks that are variable in length and thickness. Hindwings fuscous, but occasionally lighter, with a fringe paler than ground colour.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Beginning of June to mid-August.

Status: Recorded in all counties, but more commonly encountered in the east. Absent from most of the north and west with the exception of the Umbra, Londonderry and Crom Estate, Fermanagh.

Ecology: A grassland species, seen more frequently in coastal localities. Adults hide during the day among grassy tussocks and other dense vegetation. They are attracted to light and flowers, particularly those of Red Valerian Centranthus ruber and Buddleia Buddleja davidii. The larvae are nocturnal feeding during August and September on Cock's-foot Dactylis glomerata and probably other grasses. It overwinters as a larva.

World Distribution: Throughout most of Europe as far north as the Arctic.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2205 Agassiz number: 73.301

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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