Pale Pinion Noctuidae

Maps updated: April 2008

Lithophane hepatica (Clerck, 1759)

Description: Wingspan 40-46 mm. This species keeps its wings tightly wrapped around its body and resembles a dead piece of wood when at rest. Forewings are straw-coloured, with darker shaded areas running along the length of the wing. Antemedian and postmedian lines are unclear, reduced to a few black dots. Hindwings similar in colour with darker veining.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Early September to mid-November and again after hibernation from early March to late June.

Status: Common and widespread in a central band running across southern counties. Absent from the north but this may be due its late flight period and reduced fieldwork in these areas at this time of year.

Ecology: A woodland species that comes to light in moderate numbers. Adults are attracted to Ivy Hedera helix blossom and decaying fruit including blackberries Rubus fruticosus. The adults are more commonly encountered in the spring after hibernation. The larvae feed from May until July on willow Salix spp. and many other trees and shrubs. It overwinters as an adult.

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

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=6329

[Home]