Shark Noctuidae

Cucullia umbratica (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 53-59 mm. Forewings appear streaked and greyer than the Chamomile Shark. The apex of the wing is also arched and pointed. The antemedian and postmedian lines are usually indistinct. There is a small black broken line at the outer margin of the forewing. Hindwings are pale fuscous with darker veining, a small discal spot and white fringe. Females are darker than males.

Similar Species: Chamomile Shark C. chamomillae, which is smaller in size and extremely rare.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: End of May to mid-August.

Status: Widespread in scattered localities throughout the south east but sporadic elsewhere, with only a few records north of Lough Neagh at Glenarriff Glen, Portrush and Rathlin Island, Antrim. In the west it has been taken recently at Crom Estate, Fermanagh.

Ecology: A species mainly associated with waste ground, wetland areas and coastal grasslands. Adults come frequently to light and are also attracted to the flowers of Red Valerian Centranthus ruber, campions Silene spp., and sweet william. It rests by day on the trunks of trees and occasionally fence posts. Overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe from Spain to southern Scandinavia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2216 Agassiz number: 73.052

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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