Tawny Marbled Minor Noctuidae

Maps updated: April 2008

Oligia latruncula (Denis & Schiff., 1775)

Description: Wingspan 24-27 mm. Forewings are generally darkish brown with a copper-coloured band towards the outer area. The orbicular and reniform stigmata are not clearly defined. The antemedian and post median lines are not distinct, but the latter curves towards the dorsum. Both are often united by a small black bar. Hindwings pale fuscous.

Similar Species: Separation from Marbled Minor O. strigilis requires examination of the genitalia except in the case of larger specimens of the latter which show the prominent lobe on the postmedian line.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Late May until mid-August.

Status: Widespread and not uncommon in parts of north Armagh, Down and Fermanagh. Elsewhere sporadic, with very few records north of Lough Neagh. This species bears a close resemblance to the Marbled Minor O. strigilis which has led to some confusion. In recent years the Tawny Marbled Minor has been more widely recorded a view which is shared by Baynes. However it is not known how many have been identified by critical examination.

Ecology: A grassland species which occurs in a variety of grassy habitats. Adults come frequently to light and occasionally honey-dew. The larvae feed internally during April and May on various grasses. It probably spends the winter in the larval stage.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; in Europe it is found from Spain as far north as Finland.

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=6437

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