Large Wainscot Noctuidae

Rhizedra lutosa (Hubner, 1803)

Description: Wingspan 36-52 mm. Forewings pale straw, long narrow and pointed at the apex. Antemedian and postmedian lines replaced by a series of small black dots, the latter having a distinct curve towards the costa. Hindwings pale ochreous white with a series of post median dots and occasionally a faint discal spot.

Similar Species: Bulrush Wainscot N. typhae, which has a broader and more rounded forewing.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-August until early November.

Status: Commonly encountered around the Lough Neagh Basin and sporadically across Down. It has also been taken recently from Crom in Fermanagh and Rehaghy in Tyrone. The only recent record for Londonderry is from Traad Point on the northern tip of Lough Neagh at the start of the 1990's.

Ecology: Similar to the Bulrush Wainscot N. typhae but less commonly encountered. Adults are found in similar habitats but flies a little later. The adults come to light in small numbers. It rests by day low down among and stems of various reeds and grasses. The larvae feed from April until July in the roots and stems of common reed. It overwinters as an egg.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic: common and widely distributed in western Europe from Spain to southern Fennoscandia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2375 Agassiz number: 73.134

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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