Gold Spangle Noctuidae

Autographa bractea (Denis & Schiff., 1775)

Description: Wingspan 40-50 mm. Forewings brown with a darker median area above the dorsum. There is a large prominent metallic spot in the median area of the wing; this spot can vary in size between different individuals. Hindwings pale fuscous with darker veining and a darker terminal band.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-June to mid-August.

Status: Widely distributed across all counties but more commonly encountered in Down, Armagh and parts of Fermanagh. It has also been recorded on Rathlin Island.

Ecology: An attractive species that has a preference for open habitats including woodland clearings, damp meadows by streams and roadside verges. Adults are active from dusk onwards and are attracted to light and flowers. The larvae feed from September to May on a variety of low-growing plants. It overwinters as a larva.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2444 Agassiz number: 73.018

Additional information:

UK Moths account

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=6549

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