Rosy Rustic Noctuidae

Hydraecia micacea (Esper, 1789)

Description: Wingspan 34-50 mm. Forewings long with a pointed apex. In colour these range from light to dark rosy brown. Stigmata concolorous with the base colour and finely outlined with a darker fine line. The antemedian line is strongly convex; postmedian line is well defined and curved towards the costa. The subterminal areas are noticeably paler in most individuals. Hindwings have a glossy appearance and range in colour from white through to light fuscous depending on the coloration of the adult.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Late July to early October.

Status: Common and widespread throughout all counties including Rathlin Island, Antrim.

Ecology: A species mainly associated coastal cliffs, marshes and waste ground. Adults are attracted to light in small numbers and can be found at rest after dark on low-growing vegetation. The larvae feed on iris Iris spp., dock Rumex spp., plantain Plantago spp. and horse-tail Equisetum spp. and possibly other low-growing plants. It overwinters as an egg.

World Distribution: Common and generally distributed across western Europe in damper areas from northern Spain to Fennoscandia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2361 Agassiz number: 73.123

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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