Small Dotted Buff Noctuidae

Photedes minima (Haworth, 1809)

Description: Wingspan 25-30 mm. Forewings are pale straw, darker towards the costa and termen areas. The stigmata are represented by small brown coloured dots. Antemedian and postmedian lines are reduced to a series of small dark-coloured dots. Hindwings whitish fuscous, paler towards the basal area with pale buff fringe.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid-June to early August.

Status: Widely distributed in well scattered sites throughout southern counties; scarcer further north and mainly recorded from well-known coastal localities.

Ecology: A small wetland species found commonly in fens, cutover bogs and other damp habitats. Adults come frequently to light and the females are said to fly occasionally in late afternoon. Their small size means they can be easily overlooked and misidentified by the inexperienced observer. The larvae feed from August until the beginning of June on Tufted Hair-grass Deschampsia caespitosa. It overwinters as a larva.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic: widely distributed but local in Europe, ranging from northern Spain to Fennoscandia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2345 Agassiz number: 73.147

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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