Oak Nycteoline Noctuidae

Nycteola revayana (Scopoli, 1772)

Description: Wingspan 28-32 mm. Forewings strongly arched near the base of the wing. The colour is variable ranging from greyish brown through to dark brown. The patterning on individuals shows some degree of variation. The lighter brown form with small darker patches seems the most common form at Rostrevor. The antemedian and postmedian lines are clearly defined. Hindwings fuscous and vary in intensity between different colour forms; females tend to be darker than the males.

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: July, September and October and again after hibernation during March and April.

Status: Scarce with only a few recent records from Rostrevor, Down in 1999 and 2000 and Crom, Fermanagh in 2000. There are old records from two sites in Tyrone, Favour Royal in 1902 and Stewartstown in 1921.

Ecology: A small woodland species that may be overlooked in a few suitable locations especially in early spring when most individuals are seen. Adults are attracted to light and also to autumn flowers and berries. It has been stated that adults have a preference for hibernating in Ivy Hedera helix, old Yew Taxus baccata and Holly Ilex aquifolium trees. In southern Ireland it has been recorded from Cos. Cork, Kerry, Galway, Westmeath, Limerick and Wicklow. The adults appear in early autumn and again after hibernation in early spring. The larvae feed during June and July on oak Quercus spp.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; widespread and generally common across western Europe from Portugal to Belgium.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2423 Agassiz number: 74.009

Additional information:

UK Moths account

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