Beautiful Yellow Underwing Noctuidae

Anarta myrtilli (Linnaeus, 1761)

Description: Wingspan 24-28 mm. Forewings are brownish red with a small central white mark and white antemedian and postmedian lines The outer margin is chequered brown and white. Hindwings are dark yellow with a broad black border and thin white outer fringe.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Beginning of May to early August.

Status: Recorded from all counties. The majority of records are from the Peatlands complex in north Armagh.

Ecology: A small day-flying moth that flies fast across heathery bogs and heaths in sunshine. Although distinctive with its yellow and black hindwings, it is often overlooked, even by experienced observers. During dull overcast conditions, the moth rests concealed among heather stems, where its cryptic colouration makes it extremely difficult to detect. The larvae feed on the terminal shoots of Heather Calluna vulgaris from April to October.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe on heaths and upland regions, from the Arctic Circle to Spain.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2142 Agassiz number: 73.257

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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