Broad-barred White Noctuidae

Hecatera bicolorata (Hufnagel, 1766)

Description: Wingspan 28-35 mm. Forewings are pale greyish white with a dark central band which is gets broader towards the costa. Stigmata are paler against the darker band. The subterminal line is usually grey and broken. There is a series of black dots at the outer margin of the forewing. Hindwings pale whitish brown, with a darker fuscous band at the outer margin of the wings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-May to mid-June.

Status: Confined mainly to the southern counties of Down and Armagh, with a couple of scattered records from Portstewart dunes and the Umbra, Londonderry. Adults have been recorded well inland in Down and also around the Greater Belfast area.

Ecology: Found in a variety of habitats including waste ground; adults appear at light in small numbers and also visit flowers, especially Red Valerian Centranthus ruber and Viper's Bugloss Echium vulgare. It can occasionally be found by day, resting on fence posts and old stone walls. The larvae feed during August and September on hawkweeds Hieracium spp. and hawk's-beards Crepis spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe as far north as Finland.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2164 Agassiz number: 73.279

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=6255

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