Rufous Minor Noctuidae

Oligia versicolor (Borkhausen, 1792)

Description: Wingspan 23-28 mm. Forewings are reddish brown with large, pale reniform and orbicular stigmata outlined in white. The median area of the forewing is normally suffused with dark brown. The postmedian line lacks the small dark coloured projection often seen on the Marbled Minor O. strigilis. The terminal area of the forewings is normally paler than the base colour. Hindwings fuscous, darker towards the terminal area.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Unknown in N. Ireland. Skinner gives mid-June until mid-July as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: Currently unknown; the only confirmed N. Irish record is from Lissan near Cookstown in 1903 by Thomas Greer. Firm identification requires examination of the genitalia. Due to its close resemblance to the Marbled Minor O. strigilis no records can be substantiated without a specimen. In Ireland its distribution is unclear but there are confirmed records for Clare, Galway and Kerry.

Ecology: A grassland species mainly associated with woodland clearings and coastal cliffs. Adults are attracted to light but little is known about its ecology in Ireland. The larval foodplants are unknown in the wild. However Skinner states that it probably feeds internally on various grasses from the autumn until the spring of the following year.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic. In Europe it is widely distributed but local occurring from northern Spain through the French Massif as far north as the southern Sweden.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2338 Agassiz number: 73.175

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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