Pink-barred Sallow Noctuidae

Xanthia togata (Esper, 1788)

Description: Wingspan 28-36 mm. Forewings deep yellow with a median fascia which is variable in width extending across the forewing to the costa and normally purple in colour. Antemedian and post median lines are reduced to a series of purple dots. The subterminal line is irregular comprising a series of small dark-coloured dots. Hindwings pale yellowish white, darker along the outer margin.

Similar Species: The Sallow X. icteritia, which lacks any purple pigmentation on the head.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-August to mid-October.

Status: Common and widespread across southern counties and along the Antrim coastline.

Ecology: An early autumn species found in damp woodland, fens and other wetland habitats. The adults come to light in small numbers but also visit flowers and overripe berries. The larvae feed from March to early June, initially on the catkins of willow Salix spp. and later on low-growing herbaceous plants. It overwinters as an egg

World Distribution: Throughout western Europe from Spain to the Arctic Circle.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2273 Agassiz number: 73.181

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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