Knotgrass Noctuidae

Acronicta rumicis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 34-44 mm. Adults show some degree of colour variation throughout its range here. Forewings appear mottled and a mixture of light and darker grey. The antemedian and post median lines are indistinct and the subterminal line is incomplete, consisting of a series of white dots. Hindwings fuscous with a small discal spot.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Late April to September.

Status: Common and widely distributed across southern counties. Scarce north of Lough Neagh, although it has been recorded from Rathlin Island.

Ecology: An early summer species found in a variety of habitats from woodland to suburban gardens. Adults appear commonly at light and will also visit flowers. It rests by day on the trunks of trees and fence posts. The larvae feed from July to September on willow Salix spp., Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna, Bramble Rubus fruticosus, plantain Plantago spp. and probably other trees and shrubs. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe from Spain to central Scandavinia and northern Finland.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2289 Agassiz number: 73.045

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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