Mottled Rustic Noctuidae

Maps updated: April 2008

Caradrina morpheus (Hufnagel, 1766)

Description: Wingspan 32-38 mm. Forewings pale to dark brown with a glossy appearance with darker, clearly defined stigmata. The antemedian line is dentate but the postmedian line is poorly defined. The subterminal line is pale with a darker mottled suffusion making it distinct. The termen has a series of dark lunules between the veins. Hindwings are pale glossy white with a small discal spot.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-May to mid-August.

Status: Commonly recorded in Down and Armagh but elsewhere scarce, with just a few records from easternmost Tyrone and at Ballymoney, Antrim.

Ecology: This species occurs in a wide variety of habitats including woodland, bogs and many suburban habitats along the Lagan Valley. Adults come frequently to light and also to flowers. The larvae are nocturnal and feed from August to November on a variety of low-growing plants, including nettle Urtica spp., Dandelion Taraxacum officinale and Knotgrass Polygonum aviculare. It overwinters as a larva and pupates in the early spring.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; generally widespread in western Europe from Spain to 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=6492

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