Barred Chestnut Noctuidae

Diarsia dahlii (Hubner, 1813)

Description: Wingspan 32-42 mm. Adults are sexually dimorphic. The males are usually lighter than females, but darker examples can also be found. Forewings are broad and vary in colour from reddish brown to dark brown. The costa is well-arched. The stigmata are not well-defined and the crosslines are often faint apart from the pale, wavy subterminal line. Hindwings greyish brown with darker veining.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: August to mid-September.

Status: A scarce species, recorded recently from several sites in Down, Rostrevor Oakwood National Nature Reserve, Castlewellan Forest Park and Helen's Bay. Away from east Down, apparently rare. The only known sites are the Argory and Ardress House, Armagh and Correl Glen National Nature Reserve, Fermanagh.

Ecology: Mainly associated with acid woodlands, heaths and bogs. Adults are attracted to light in small numbers and also to flowers, such as Heather Calluna vulgaris and Ragwort Senecio jacobaea. The larvae feed from September until spring on birch Betula spp. and Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus. It overwinters as a larva.

World Distribution: Local in Europe with a mainly northern distribution.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2121 Agassiz number: 73.331

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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