Smoky Wainscot Noctuidae

Mythimna impura (Hubner, 1808)

Description: Wingspan 31-38mm. Forewings are straw coloured with whitish veins, a postmedian line, two small black dots and a brown coloured basal streak extending to the median area of the forewing. Hindwings are greyish white or fuscous brown, with darker veining and a small discal spot. The outer fringe is white.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Late June to the end of August.

Status: Common and widely distributed in all counties including Rathlin Island, Co. Antrim.

Ecology: A grassland species found in a variety of habitats. Adults come frequently to light in moderate numbers and will also visit flowers, especially Ragwort Senecio jacobaea and Marram Ammophila arenaria. The larvae are nocturnal, feeding from September until May of the following year, on Cock's-foot Dactylis glomerata, Common Reed Phragmites australis and various other grasses. It overwinters as a small larva.

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe as far north as Sweden and south to Spain.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2198 Agassiz number: 73.293

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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