Family Noctuidae: Owlet moths

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Heart & Dart Agrotis exclamationis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Agrotis exclamationis<
  • Subfamily: Noctuinae. BF: 2089
  • Cambridge (Adams Road sanctuary TL434586) 26 Jun 2012.
  • Larvae feed on various wild and garden plants
  • NBN Atlas


Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba Linnaeus, 1758

Noctua pronuba
  • Subfamily: Noctuinae. BF: 2107
  • Cambridge, Barnwell East LNR TL479582, 5 Jul 2016.
  • This is the type species of genus Noctua Linnaeus and therefore of the entire family Noctuidae.
  • Feeds on a variety of herbaceous plants and grasses. The "cutworm" larvae can cause serious damage to plants.
  • Extremely common & ubiquitous - probably the most abundant of our larger moths. NBN Atlas


Lesser Yellow Underwing Noctua comes (Hübner, 1813)

Noctua comes
  • Subfamily: Noctuinae. BF: 2109
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 23 Sep 2001.
  • Length: 23mm
  • Lacks the black marks near wing-tips seen on N. orbona and the larger N. pronuba (above)
  • NBN Atlas


Ingrailed Clay Diarsia mendica (Fabricius, 1775)

Diarsia mendica
  • Subfamily: Noctuinae. BF: 2120
  • Cambridge (Adams Road sanctuary TL434586) 26 Jun 2012.
  • Variable in colour, tends to be paler in southern England and darker in Scotland
  • Larval food plants include bramble and bilberry
  • NBN Atlas


Setaceous Hebrew Character Xestia c-nigrum (Linnaeus, 1758)

Xestia c-nigrum
  • Subfamily: Noctuinae. BF: 2126
  • Cambridge (Adams Road sanctuary TL434586) 26 Jun 2012.
  • Both Latin and English names refer to the dark markings which resemble the Hebrew letter nun נ, or rather less closely a c.
  • Larvae feed on a wide range of plants, nettle being a favourite.
  • NBN Atlas


Early Grey Xylocampa areola (Esper, 1789)

Xylocampa areola
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 5 Apr 2001.
  • Subfamily: Psaphidinae. BF: 2243
  • A early spring species.
  • The camouflage isn't very effective when it rests here on an algae-covered trunk.
  • Larvae feed on honeysuckle (Lonicera).
  • NBN Atlas


Large Ranunculus Polymixis flavicincta (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

Polymixis flavicincta
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 21 Sep 2001.
  • Subfamily: Xyleninae. BF: 2252
  • An autumn-flying moth.
  • It's on a decorative window transfer, since you ask.
  • NBN Atlas


Tree-Lichen Beauty Cryphia algae (Fabricius, 1775)

Cryphia algae
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 9 Aug 2014.
  • Subfamily: Bryophilinae. BF: 2292
  • A migrant from southern Europe, increasingly found in southern Britain during summer since the 1990s.
  • Larvae feed on lichens growing on trees.
  • NBN Atlas


Marbled Beauty Bryophila domestica (Hufnagel, 1766)

Bryophila domestica
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 8 Aug 2002.
  • Subfamily: Bryophilinae. BF: 2293
  • The camouflage for its natural habitat of lichens also serves well on Cambridge bricks and mortar!
  • NBN Atlas


Copper Underwing Amphipyra pyramidea (Linnaeus, 1758)

Amphipyra pyramidea
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 1 Sep 2008.
  • Subfamily: Amphipyrinae. BF: 2297
  • Fairly common in southern Britain
  • Larva feed on oak and other trees
  • NBN Atlas


Angle Shades Phlogophora meticulosa (Linnaeus, 1758)

Phlogophora meticulosa Phlogophora meticulosa
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 9 Aug 2001, 29 Jun 2002.
  • Subfamily: Xyleninae. BF: 2306
  • (l) Feeding on buddleia at night, photographed with flash.
  • (r) Disturbed in daylight by gardening activities
  • Larvae are variable, some green, some as seen below. On a range of plants, this one on spinach, March 2002.
  • NBN Atlas
Phlogophora meticulosa

The Dun-bar Cosmia trapezina (Linnaeus, 1758)

Cosmia trapezina
  • Cambridge (Sheeps Green TL448575) 13 Jun 2017.
  • Subfamily: Xyleninae. BF: 2318
  • The larvae feed on a range of deciduous trees; also predatory on larvae of other moths.
  • NBN Atlas


Dark Arches Apamea monoglypha (Hufnagel, 1766)

Apamea monoglypha
  • Cambridge (Adams Road sanctuary TL434586) 26 Jun 2012.
  • Subfamily: Amphipyrinae. BF: 2321
  • The larvae feed on the bases and stems of grasses.
  • NBN Atlas



Light Arches Apamea lithoxylaea ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

Apamea lithoxylaea
  • Cambridge (Adams Road sanctuary TL434586) 26 Jun 2012.
  • Subfamily: Amphipyrinae. BF: 2322
  • The adult moth inhabits dry pastures and similarly grassy places.
  • The larvae feed on the stems and roots of grasses.
  • NBN Atlas


Clouded Brindle Apamea epomidion (Haworth, 1809)

Apamea lithoxylaea
  • Cambridge (Adams Road sanctuary TL434586) 26 Jun 2012.
  • Subfamily: Amphipyrinae. BF: 2327
  • Mainly a woodland species.
  • The larvae feed on grasses.
  • NBN Atlas


Silver Y Autographa gamma (Linnaeus, 1758)

Autographa gamma
  • Cambridge, Gwydir Street, 2 Sep 2001.
  • Subfamily: Plusiinae. BF: 2441
  • Resting on a fence-post in daylight.
  • The moth does not over-winter in Britain but migrates from Europe and breeds up into one of our most prominent day-flying species.
  • NBN Atlas


Burnet Companion Euclidia glyphica (Linnaeus, 1758)

Euclidia glyphica
  • Cambridge (Lammas Land TL448576), 1 Sep 2001.
  • Subfamily: Erebinae. BF: 2463
  • Larvae feed on clover (Trifolium) and trefoil (Lotus).
  • NBN Atlas


Straw Dot Rivula sericealis (Scopoli, 1763)

Rivula sericealis
  • Cambridge (Lammas Land TL448576), 1 Sep 2001.
  • Subfamily: Rivulinae. BF: 2474
  • Larvae feed on various grasses
  • NBN Atlas


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