Silver Y Noctuidae

Autographa gamma (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 32-52 mm. Forewings purplish grey-brown, paler towards the apex. Immigrants tend to be paler in colour. Stigmata poorly outlined and usually not visible. The median area of the wing contains a well-defined silver y-shaped mark. Hindwings pale fuscous with a broad dark terminal band.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Adults have been recorded in every month from April to November.

Status: A common and widespread species found throughout all counties including Rathlin Island.

Ecology: A species that is found in a variety of habitats from woodland to coastal grassland. This species has a strong migratory instinct and resident populations are backed up each year with adults from Europe. This is one of the most commonly encountered noctuid migrants in N. Ireland. Individuals are frequently seen during the day especially in coastal localities feeding at flowers. Adults also come to light in moderate numbers and will also visit garden flowers. Early migrants can in some years produce a locally bred population. The larvae feed on Honeysuckle Lonicera periclymenum and probably other low-growing herbaceous plants.

World Distribution: Holarctic; widespread throughout Europe and the Mediterranean as far north as the Arctic Circle.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 2441 Agassiz number: 73.015

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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