Scarce Bordered Straw Noctuidae

Helicoverpa armigera (Hubner, 1803)

Description: Wingspan 38-42 mm. Forewing colouration can be variable ranging from ochreous to purplish brown. Antemedian and postmedian lines indistinct. Orbicular stigmata usually has a small dark central dot; reniform stigmata variable sometimes lighter or darker than base colour. Subterminal fascia darker with a well-defined outer edge. Hindwings creamy white with a broad darker terminal band.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Recorded from July to October.

Status: A very rare migrant from Europe and occasionally accidentally imported on fruits etc. Recorded on a few occasions in N. Ireland at Dundrum in 1954, Killard Point National Nature Reserve in 1996, Murlough National Nature Reserve and Island Hill at Castleward Bay in 2000.

Ecology: This species is found commonly in southern Europe and North Africa where it can be a serious pest to cultivated crops. Adults are normally seen in the autumn in N. Ireland when they are attracted to light and Ivy Hedera helix blossom.

World Distribution: Tropical; it occurs throughout western and southern Europe and in the Azores and Canary Islands. It becomes scarcer further north, but has been recorded as far north as Finland.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2400 Agassiz number: 73.076

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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