The Moths of the British Isles/Chapter 15

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search

TRIFINÆ.

Moths of the British Isles Plate104.jpg


Pl. 104.
1, 3. Archer's Dart. 4, 6. Turnip Moth. 2, 5. Shuttle-shaped Dart. 7, 8. Dark Sword Grass.
9, 10. Pearly Underwing.

Moths of the British Isles Plate105.jpg


Pl. 105.
1, 2. Crescent Dart. 3, 4. Heart and Dart, males.
5, 6. Heart and Dart, females. 7, 8. Heart and Club.
9, 10. Light Feathered Rustic.

[ 201 ]

The Turnip Moth (Agrotis (Euxoa) segetum).

The ordinary form of the male and the female is represented on Plate 104. The species is an exceedingly variable one, and Haworth (1803), believing them to be distinct species, gave Latin and English names to several of the different forms. The ground colour in the male ranges from pale whitish or brownish ochreous, with strong markings, to blackish brown, with the markings obscured. The female ranges in colour of [ 202 ] fore wings from greyish to blackish. Caterpillar, greyish brown, tinged with ochreous, or sometimes pinkish; a glossy plate on first ring, greyish or brownish; spots glossy, each with a tiny hair; lines rather darker, but often indistinct. It feeds from July to April on various plants, but only attacks the tender stems near the surface of the ground. In fields it is destructive to turnips and swedes, making large cavities in the bulb, which it enters from just above the tap-root. The moth flies in June, and occasionally as a second generation in the autumn. Generally distributed over the British Isles, and often very common. Its range extends throughout nearly the whole of Europe and the greater part of Asia.

The Archer's Dart (Agrotis (Euxoa) vestigialis).

The specimens shown on Plate 104 are typical of the sexes (Figs. 1♂, 3♀). The normal pale brown colour is sometimes replaced by greyish, reddish, or olive brown. A specimen with black fore and hind wings has been recorded from North Wales by Mr. Jäger. The markings vary in intensity, and occasionally are almost or quite absent. Several of the varieties have been named. The caterpillar, which feeds on bed-straw and various grasses, etc., is greenish grey, inclining to brownish above, with a dark-edged pale line along the middle of the back, and a similar line on each side; the raised spots are black, and the plate on first ring brownish; head ochreous, marked with darker. August to May. The moth is out in July and August, and is chiefly found on sandhills by the sea. It is most plentiful on the eastern and southern coasts, and in Cheshire, Lancashire, and Yorkshire: it is often not uncommon in the Brandon and Tuddenham districts, and others, in the "Breck Sand" area of Suffolk and Norfolk. The species has been recorded from Worcestershire, and I understand that a few specimens were taken in Surrey last August (1907). In Scotland it occurs on the east coast, and in the Orkney Isles; also in Ayr, on the south-west. In Ireland, also, it is found on suitable parts of the coast.

Moths of the British Isles Plate106.jpg


Pl. 106.
1, 2. Sand Dart. 3, 4. Coast Dart.
5, 6. Garden Dart. 7, 8, 11. White Line Dart.
9, 10. White-line Dart, var. aquilina. 12. Square-spot Dart.

Moths of the British Isles Plate107.jpg


Pl. 107.
1. True-lover's Knot. 2, 3. Heath Rustic.
4. Portland Moth. 5, 6. Stout Dart.
7, 8. Dotted Rustic. 9, 10. Northern Rustic.
[ 203 ]

The Heart and Club (Agrotis (Euxoa) corticea).

The more usual form of the male and the female are shown on Plate 105 (Figs. 7♂, 8♀). The colour varies from pale brown to a whitish or greyish brown tint in one direction, and to reddish or blackish brown in another. The cross lines, generally well defined, are sometimes absent, or nearly so, in some of the pale forms, and much obscured in the dark forms. The black outlined reniform and orbicular stigmata are sometimes obscured by a blackish cloud; the pale-centred, club-like mark below them varies in length, and is occasionally reduced to a small spot. "Noctua subfusca," Haworth, has been determined by Mr. E. R. Bankes, who possesses the type, to be an obscurely marked fuscous ♂ example of this species. The greyish brown, rather rough-looking caterpillar, is freckled with a darker tint above, and inclined to greenish below; a fine, pale line along the middle of the back is edged with brownish, and on each side there is a pale line, edged above with brown, and below this a double pale line; head marked with blackish (Plate 109, Fig. 1). It feeds from March to April, after hibernation, on various low-growing plants, including goose-foot (Chenopodium), persicaria, knotgrass, dock, and clover. The moth is on the wing in June and July, and very occasionally in September. It is rather a common insect in eastern and southern counties bordering the sea, but extends into Surrey, and occasionally into Cambridgeshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire; and is also found more or less frequently in Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. In Scotland it occurs in Ayr, and on the eastern side to Moray. It has been taken in various [ 204 ] counties, on the coast, of Ireland from Cork to Sligo, and from Wicklow to Derry.

The Light Feathered Rustic (Agrotis (Euxoa) cinerea).

Both sexes are shown in their typical forms on Plate 105. The fore wings of the male (Fig. 9) are generally pale greyish in colour, with blackish cross lines and central shade; the claviform mark is absent, and the orbicular stigma usually so, or represented by a dusky dot; sometimes the ground colour is brownish, occasionally purplish grey, and very rarely black. The female (Fig. 10) is smaller, and always much darker.

The caterpillar is blackish green or dark greyish, with three fine pale lines, the central one edged on both sides, and the others edged above, with a darker tint; a pale stripe along the black spiracles; head, and plate on first ring black. It feeds on wild thyme, and is said to eat dock. It hatches from the egg in late June or early July, and presumably hibernates when full grown, as it does not seem to feed again when it reappears in early spring.

The moth flies in May and June, and is only to be found on hills and downs in chalk or limestone districts. It occurs in Surrey, Dorset, Isle of Wight, Devon, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, North Wales, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Cambridge, and Suffolk; it seems to have been most frequently met with in Kent and Sussex. The small form, with narrow and distinctly marked fore wings, and whitish hind wings, occurring in the south of England, has been named var. tephrina, Staud.

The Shuttle-shaped Dart (Agrotis (Euxoa) puta).

As will be seen by the figures on Plate 104, the sexes of this species also differ greatly in colour. Usually the cross lines on the fore wings of the male do not show up so distinctly as in [ 205 ] Fig. 2, which closely approaches a form figured and described as radiola by Stephens in 1829. Fig. 5 represents the typical blackish-brown female. Gynandrous specimens, one side ♂ the other ♀, have been recorded. The caterpillar feeds on dandelion, lettuce, knotgrass, and other low-growing plants, from September to April; probably full grown before hibernation. The moth, which is out in July and August, sometimes in May, is partial to low-lying, marshy ground and meadows, and is widely distributed over the whole of the south of England, but it is seemingly rare in the north, and still more so in Scotland and Ireland. Barrett states that it has been found commonly in Carmarthenshire, Wales.

The Crescent Dart (Agrotis (Euxoa) lunigera).

Although its position in classification is that of a local form of A. trux, Hübn., this moth, which is figured on Plate 105, Figs. 1♂, 2♀, may here retain the name that was given to it by Stephens in 1829. Except that it has been reported to occur in the north of France, it seems to be peculiar to the British Isles. The earliest known specimens were captured near Cork in Ireland, June, 1826, and it is now found not only on the coasts of Cork and Kerry, but also on the Hill of Howth, near Dublin. In England it occurs in the Isle of Wight, Dorsetshire (Portland), Devonshire (Torquay), Cornwall, and the Scilly Isles. Reported from Sussex in 1918. In Wales it is to be found above Barmouth, and in various parts of South Wales; and in Scotland around Edinburgh and on the Moray coast. The moth is out in July and August. Mr. A. E. Gibbs, writing of this species in Cornwall, remarks, "It is generally stated that A. lunigera is only to be taken on steep and dangerous cliffs, in places where sugaring is by no means a safe occupation; but its abundance at Polzeath showed that this is not invariably the case. Here it was found on posts and flower heads in the valley at some [ 206 ] distance from the seashore, and so abundantly did it occur that one evening's work yielded upwards of fifty specimens."

The caterpillar is greyish or greenish grey, inclining to brownish above, and with darker brown marks on the back; lines paler, edged sometimes with darker grey; raised spots blackish, rather glossy; head brownish, marked with black, and the plate on first ring is black with a central yellow line. It feeds from August to May on various low plants growing in rocky places by the sea. Will eat dandelion, plantain, and knotgrass in confinement, also sliced carrot.

The Coast Dart (Agrotis (Euxoa) cursoria).

The specimens whose portraits will be found on Plate 106 are more or less typical of the sexes of this most variable species. The ground colour of the fore wings ranges from whitish ochreous through all shades of brown up to dark reddish, and from whitish grey through leaden grey to brown grey. The markings, too, are exceedingly variable; the cross lines are often faint, sometimes entirely absent; the stigmata are frequently obscure, and occasionally the blackish lower part of the reniform is the only indication of these marks. There is often a white streak along the costa, and in some specimens this is very conspicuous (Figs. 3♂, 4♀).

The caterpillar feeds from September to June on various grasses growing on sandhills, and is said to eat wormwood and violet. It is ochreous in colour, more or less tinged with green; the lines are pale grey, edged with darker grey; spots brown, and head ochreous brown.

The moth is on the wing from late July to early September, and is to be found on all the larger tracts of sandhills on the east coast from Suffolk northwards, and on the coasts of Cheshire and Lancashire. It is not common on our southern coasts, but occurs in Dorsetshire and Devon. In Scotland it is obtained [ 207 ] on the Firth of Forth, Kincardine, and Aberdeen coasts, and also in the Hebrides, Orkney, and Shetland Isles; and on very many parts of the coast of Ireland.

The Garden Dart (Agrotis (Euxoa) nigricans).

This moth is typically sooty or blackish brown in both sexes (Plates 106, Figs. 5♂, 6♀), but varies to pale brown, or through various shades of red brown. The markings, usually obscure, occasionally are well defined, and sometimes there are additional black spots and pale streaks. The caterpillar is pale or dark ochreous brown on the back, inclining to greenish on the sides; lines greenish grey, edged with black, and a double whitish one low down on the sides. It feeds from September to June, on clover, plantain, dock, and various other low plants; and also cow-parsnip and other umbelliferæ. The moth flies in July and August, and is to be found in most English counties, but perhaps most commonly in the eastern. In Scotland it ranges to Moray, and seems to be generally distributed in Ireland.

The White-line Dart (Agrotis (Euxoa) tritici).

This is another exceedingly variable species. The ground colour of the fore wings ranges from pale whitish or ochreous brown, through various tints of greyish and red brown, up to black or sooty brown; variation in markings is somewhat similar to that referred to in A. cursoria. Three forms are shown on Plate 106, Figs. 7, 8, and 11; the latter represents a specimen closely approaching A. obelisca. Var. aquilina (Figs. 9 and 10), the English name of which is the Streaked Dart, is larger than the type, and the wings, consequently, are broader; by some entomologists it is considered to be a distinct species.

The caterpillar is obscure greyish or brownish, with a dark-edged pale line along the middle of the back, and a dusky line [ 208 ] on each side of it; low down on the sides is another dusky line. It feeds from September to May on mouse-ear chickweed, bedstraw, plantain, and other low-growing plants growing on sandy soils.

The moth is out in July and August, and is widely distributed throughout the British Isles, including the Orkneys and Shetlands, but especially common on coast sandhills.

The Square-spot Dart (Agrotis (Euxoa) obelisca).

The fore wings of this moth (Plate 106, Fig. 12) are pale greyish brown, purplish brown, or sometimes slaty brown, with fairly distinct black cross lines, and a pale streak along the front edge; the first line is straight and less angled, and the second line less curved towards the front margin than in A. tritici. The caterpillar, which feeds from about October to July on rock rose, bedstraw, and other low plants growing in rocky places by the sea or on hillsides, is very similar to that of the last species. The moth is out in August and September in its special haunts. A well-known locality for it is Freshwater in the Isle of Wight, but it may be obtained at Torquay, Devonshire; Padstow, Cornwall; and the Scilly Isles. Also recorded from Sussex, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, South Wales, Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Yorkshire. In Scotland on the south-west and east coasts; and in Ireland at Howth, Dublin; Dungarvan, Co. Waterford; and Mt. Charles, Donegal.

The Heart and Dart (Agrotis (Feltia) exclamationis).

On Plate 105 are figured two examples of the male (Figs. 3, 4) and two female specimens (Figs. 5, 6). The colour of the fore wings ranges from pale whitish brown through various shades of brown and grey to a sooty brown or black. The cross lines are rarely very distinct, the reniform, orbicular, and claviform marks are, however, generally much in evidence; but either of the two last, sometimes both, may occasionally disappear. Not infrequently the reniform is connected with the orbicular by a black streak from the former; more rarely the claviform is much widened and lengthened, and almost united with a dusky cloud above it (var. plaga, Steph.). This species is sometimes mistaken for A. corticea, but apart from the shorter teeth of the male antennæ, the present species has a distinct, and often conspicuous, black mark on the front of the thorax.

Moths of the British Isles Plate108.jpg


Pl. 108.
1, 2, 4, 5. Northern Dart.
3. Rosy Marsh Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate109.jpg


Pl. 109.
1. Heart and Club: caterpillar. 2. Heath Rustic: caterpillar.
3. Neglected Rustic: caterpillar. 4. True-lover's Knot: caterpillar.

[ 209 ] The caterpillar is brownish with darker pear-shaped marks on the back; lines dark edged; spiracles black and of large size. Head pale marked with brown. It feeds from July to May on various low herbage, including lettuce, chickweed, plantain, and goose-foot; also turnips.

The moth flies in June and July (sometimes in September), and is generally common; but in Scotland it does not appear to extend north of Moray and Argyle.

The Dark Sword Grass (Agrotis ypsilon).

The sexes of this moth are represented on Plate 104, Figs. 7 ♂ and 8 ♀. In occasional specimens of the male the ground colour of the fore wings is rather pale brown; otherwise there is little variation to note. The caterpillar feeds from April to July on roots and leaves of cabbage, lettuce, goose-foot, and many low plants; also on swedes, mangold wurzel, etc. It is purplish or bronzy brown above and somewhat greener on the sides; the usual spots are blackish and the lines greyish edged with darker. Head black with two white spots. The moth is on the wing from July to September, and as it is sometimes seen in April and May and earlier, it is said to have probably hibernated. Possibly, however, such early specimens, found at least once in February, are immigrants. Sometimes the species is common and at others rare. It has occurred at one time or other almost everywhere in the British Isles, but it seems to be most regularly obtained in England and in Ireland. [ 210 ] Abroad its range extends through Europe, Asia, and North America, and also to Australia, and Honolulu.

The Sand Dart (Agrotis (Lycophotia) ripæ).

This species varies a good deal in the ground colour of the fore wings. According to Barrett it ranges from pure white through pale reddish, rich reddish (var. desillii, Pierret) reddish drab, yellowish drab, and various shades of pale brown to brownish grey, and the markings to all degrees of distinctness or obliteration, especially the latter. The two specimens on Plate 106 have the markings fairly well defined (Fig. 1 is a male, and Fig. 2 a female).

The caterpillar is ochreous grey, whitish tinged with pink, or greenish; the lines and spots are greyish, and the spiracles large and black; head and plate on first ring ochreous brown. It feeds on saltwort (Salsola), sea rocket (Cakile), seablite (Suæda), sea holly (Eryngium), and various other plants that flourish on sandy shores. It is usually full grown in late autumn, when it goes down some depth into the sand, but does not pupate until the spring. If the caterpillars are not full fed when obtained they must be furnished with plenty of sand to burrow in, and kept supplied with slices of carrot until it is seen that the last put in remains untouched.

The moth flies in June and July, and may be found on the coasts of Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent (Deal), Isle of Wight, Dorset, Devon (Dawlish and Torquay), Somersetshire, South Wales, Cheshire, Lancashire, and the Isle of Man. Rare in Scotland and in Ireland.

The True Lover's Knot (Agrotis (Lycophotia) strigula).

The white marked reddish moth (Plate 107, Fig. 1) frequents most of the moorlands and heath and ling-clad heaths and [ 211 ] commons throughout the British Isles. It varies in the tint of the reddish colour, and in the greater and lesser prominence of the white markings. Specimens from Scotland, especially from the Shetland Isles, are generally larger than English examples, and are often clouded with darker tints. The caterpillar, which is figured on Plate 109, Fig. 4, is reddish brown with a pale line along the middle of the back edged with dark brown or blackish marks on each side; a whitish or pinkish white stripe along the sides with a brown edging above. Head ochreous brown, marked with darker. It feeds on heath and heather, and hides by day in the moss or among dead leaves, etc., below the food plant, August to May. The moth flies, sometimes by day, but usually at night, in June, July, and in late seasons in August.

The Portland Moth (Agrotis (Lycophotia) præcox).

The pretty greenish moth with black cross lines, white spots, and reddish-brown clouding on the outer area (Plate 107, Fig. 4), is said to have been first reared in this country by the Duchess of Portland, early in the nineteenth century, hence the English name. Although occasionally found several miles from the sea, it is essentially a coast species, and may be obtained on the sandhills of Dorsetshire, Devon, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and the Isle of Man. Odd specimens occasionally occur inland, as for example at Kendal (1899), and in Worcestershire (1901 and 1903). In Scotland it is found in suitable places along the west coast, from the Firth of Clyde to Sutherland, and on the east to Moray; and it is widely spread on the coasts of Ireland. The caterpillar is slaty grey; central line on the back whitish or pale greyish, expanding on each ring and so forming a series of connected spots, edged with darker tint; then a whitish stripe, edged above by a slender black line; a whitish or bluish grey stripe along the black spiracles. Head pale [ 212 ] brown, obscurely marked with darker. It feeds from September to June on dwarf sallow, grasses, chickweed, wormwood, etc. The moth flies in August.

The Pearly Underwing (Agrotis (Lycophotia) saucia).

Two specimens, both males, are represented on Plate 104. Fig. 10 is more or less typical and Fig. 9 is referable to var. margaritosa, Haworth; both occur together wherever the species is found, but the typical form is generally the most frequent.

The caterpillar, which tapers slightly towards the head, is reddish grey or brown above and paler on the sides; a line along the middle of the back is yellowish and edged with dark brown dashes; the line along the greyish ringed black spiracles is pale and edged above with black; a yellowish blotch on the last ring and a black bar on ring eleven; head pale brown or greyish brown marked with black. It feeds on most low plants; also on cabbage and rape. It occurs in June and July, and in a second generation in September, October, and sometimes November. From eggs laid in September the caterpillar hatched in from five days to a fortnight and moths resulted from these about six weeks later.

Although it certainly does occur in May and June sometimes, the moth is very much more frequently seen in autumn. On the south coast, extending to Cornwall and the Scilly Isles, the species is possibly a resident. In other parts of the British Isles its occurrence is more or less casual, and, although common in some years in other southern, and also eastern and northern counties, it does not seem to be permanently established therein. No doubt its more general distribution, and abundance here and there, in certain years, is due to the arrival of immigrants, either in small numbers in the spring, or in swarms later on in the year. [ 213 ]

The distribution abroad includes Central, Western, and Southern Europe; Asia Minor; Northern Africa, Canaries, and Madeira; North America.

The Northern Rustic (Agrotis (Episilia) lucernea).

The specimens of this locally variable species shown on Plate 107 are from Scotland (Fig. 9 ♂), var. renigera, Stephens, and North Wales (Fig. 10 ♀). Barrett (Brit. Lep., vol. 3), discussing the variation, remarks, "On the south coast of England, and especially at Portland, the general tint is pale smoky grey, much darker towards the hind margin, and with the markings moderately distinct; inland mountainous districts, especially in North Wales, produce a still paler form; coast districts in the west and north a decidedly darker; and in the far west, as in Kerry, some specimens are actually slate-black, without more than the faintest trace of markings. The Isle of Wight produces deep slate-coloured specimens, darker than those from the Isle of Man, which are grey brown. Shetland specimens are large and dark, even to glossy blue-black." The caterpillar is dusky olive green, mottled all over with small black streaks and dapplings; each segment of the body having a faintly indicated pale olive-green spot on each subdorsal region, below which, on each side, is an oblique shading of blackish green. Head shining black-brown, rather lighter brown at the sides (Barrett). It feeds on harebell (Campanula), stonecrop (Sedum acre), saxifrage, cowslip, chickweed, and grasses, from August to May. The moth flies in July and August, and in the north and west in September. It occurs in rough stony places, on rocky places on the coast, and on hills inland, in Kent (Folkestone district), Isle of Wight, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall, Gloucestershire (rare), Sussex, Shropshire, Wales, Lancashire (rare), Yorkshire, and Westmoreland. It is widely distributed in Scotland and Ireland. [ 214 ]

The Dotted Rustic (Agrotis (Episilia) simulans).

The sexes of this local moth are figured on Plate 107. Fig. 7 represents a male from Aberdeen, and Fig. 8 a female from Dorsetshire. The latter is of a pale brown colour on the fore wings, and this is somewhat unusual, as the prevailing colour of specimens from the Dorset coast is greyish brown.

The caterpillar is ochreous brown, dotted with brown, and marked with dark brown, sometimes greenish tinged, on the back; a white stripe below the spiracles; head brown and rather glossy. It feeds on grasses and low plants, such as dock, dandelion, groundsel, etc. September to May. The moth flies in July, August, and September. It occurs at various places on the Dorsetshire coast; on the Cotswolds in Gloucestershire; in North Wales, and the Isle of Man; also from Cheshire to Cumberland. Widely distributed in Scotland, extending to the Hebrides and the Orkneys. In Ireland only recorded from Sligo.

The Heath Rustic (Agrotis (Eueretagrotis) agathina).

The moth, shown on Plate 107, varies in colour and in marking. Fig. 2 depicts a specimen from Perthshire, and Fig. 3 one from North Devonshire. In Southern England the general tint is pinkish brown, and in the north and in Scotland it is dark reddish brown or blackish. A pale greyish form from Ireland has been named var. hebridicola, Staud. Sometimes specimens are distinctly rosy in tint, and these are referable to var. rosea, Tutt. The caterpillar (Plate 109, Fig. 2) is reddish brown, or green, with whitish lines on the back, the central one edged on each sides with blackish, and the others inwardly marked with black; a yellowish stripe low down along the sides, sometimes marked with reddish; usual dots black; spiracles white, dark ringed; head greenish yellow marked with darker in the green form, and yellowish brown marked with darker in the brown form. It feeds from September to June on heath and heather. The above brief description was made from apparently full-grown caterpillars received from the New Forest on May 28, 1907, but not one of them attained the chrysalis stage. The moth is out in August and September, and occurs on most of the larger heaths, and on moorlands throughout the British Isles, including the Hebrides and Orkneys.

Moths of the British Isles Plate110.jpg


Pl. 110.
1. Ashworth's Rustic. 2, 3. Neglected Rustic. 4. Autumnal Rustic.
5. Plain Clay. 6. Double Dart. 7. Flame Shoulder.
8. Setaceous Hebrew Character. 9. Triple-spotted Clay.

Moths of the British Isles Plate111.jpg


Pl. 111.
1. Flame Shoulder: caterpillar.
2. Triple-spotted Clay: caterpillar.
3. Double Dart: caterpillar.
[ 215 ]

The Stout Dart (Agrotis ravida (obscura)).

The somewhat dingy brown, or greyish brown moth (Plate 107, Figs. 5 ♂, 6 ♀) is sometimes tinged with reddish, and this tint is generally present on the front or costal area.

The caterpillar is ochreous brown with a paler line along the back, and a series of dark edged, oblique and more or less curved, yellowish marks on each side; head greyish freckled with brownish; plate on first ring brown marked with pale lines. It feeds on low-growing plants such as dock, dandelion, chickweed, etc.; September to May. The moth flies in July and August, but its occurrence in Britain is somewhat irregular. It is found, sometimes commonly, in most of the southern and eastern counties of England, and also in Durham; and has been occasionally recorded from other parts of the country, as well as from Scotland. For several years it may seem to quite disappear and then suddenly become common in various districts. Its range abroad extends to Amurland, North China, Corea, and Japan.

The Northern Dart (Agrotis (Episilia) hyperborea).

Of this pretty Scottish species (alpina, Westw. and Humph.) four examples are figured in Plate 108. Figs. 1 and 2 represent specimens from Shetland, and Figs. 4 and 5 are from Rannoch specimens. These will show something of the variation in this [ 216 ] moth, which was not known to occur in the British Isles until 1839, when a single specimen was taken on Cairn Gowr in Perthshire. No other example seems to have been noted up to 1854, when one was found on a rock in the same part of Perthshire. Up to the year 1876, only a few specimens had been obtained, but in that year, which was a hot and dry one in the Highlands, quite a number were secured. A female was also detected laying her yellowish white eggs on crowberry (Empetrum nigrum) and thus gave a clue which led to the subsequent discovery of caterpillars and chrysalids; and these have been obtained in some quantity. The caterpillar is reddish, inclining to pinkish brown, freckled with darker; three whitish lines on the back, the central one irregularly black dotted, edged on both sides with black, and the others with black bars along their inside edge; head pale brown freckled and lined with darker brown. It feeds from August to June (of the second year following hatching from the egg, it is said), on crowberry, bilberry (Vaccinium), and bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi).

The moth is out from late June until about the middle of August. It only occurs with us on the higher mountains in Perthshire, notably those to the south of Loch Rannoch; and at lower elevations in Unst, the most northern isle of the Shetland group. It has also been recorded from the Orkneys. Kane mentions a specimen bred at the end of February, 1893, at Clonbrock, Co. Galway, from a caterpillar found at a bog in the vicinity, where crowberry grows abundantly. Abroad the species in its typical form is found on mountains in Central and Southern Scandinavia, and in modified form in Silesia, Hungary, and Switzerland.

Ashworth's Rustic (Agrotis (Episilia) ashworthii).

This moth, which is figured in Plate 110, is considered by some entomologists to be a form of A. candelarum peculiar [ 217 ] to the hills and mountains of North Wales, and found chiefly at Llangollen, Penmaenmawr, and Snowdon. The colour of the fore wings varies from pale dove colour to dark slaty grey. The caterpillar is blackish, or dark slate colour, with two series of velvety black spots, or dashes along the back; head reddish brown. It feeds on various low-growing plants, among which are rock-rose, wild thyme, sheep's sorrel, bedstraw, etc. Towards the end of April, in Flint, they feed freely and crawl about their food plants in the day time as well as at night (E. W. H. Blagg). The moth has been reared in November and December from eggs found in July, about the second week; the caterpillars having been supplied mainly with sallow, with the addition of dock, groundsel, plantain, and knot grass (R. Tait). On another occasion moths were bred in October from eggs laid by a female reared from caterpillars taken in North Wales in the spring (A. Harrison). The moth is out in July and August and in its rugged haunts, may be disturbed from among the loose rubble, and from chinks in the rocks; but as they come freely to sugared herbage, captives in this way would probably be more numerous. Discovered at Llangollen in 1853, by Mr. Joseph Ashworth after whom it was named by Doubleday in 1855.

Note.—Barrett mentions the following Agrotids as having occurred in the British Isles.

A. crassa, Hübn., "one specimen in the cabinet of Mr. S. Stevens." A. spinifera, Hübn., a specimen taken in the Isle of Man, August, 1869. A. fennica, Tauscher, a specimen recorded in the Zoologist for 1850, as captured in Derbyshire.

The Rosy Marsh Moth (Noctua (Cœnophila) subrosea).

The last two moths were respectively productions of Scotland and Wales; the present one is exclusively English, at least it was, because now and for perhaps the last fifty years it has been extinct in its old fenny haunts at Whittlesea, in Cambridgeshire, [ 218 ] and Yaxley, Huntingdonshire. In the latter fen it was first noted by Weaver about the year 1837. In 1846 and onwards it was plentiful, and the caterpillars were common. All was well with the species until about 1851 when the fens were drained, and the moth then ceased to appear. (Plate 108, Fig. 3.) In Sweden, Southern Russia, and in Amurland the species is represented by a bluish form, var. subcœrulea, Staud.

The Double Dart (Noctua (Exarnis) augur).

The dull brownish moth (Plate 110, Fig. 6), is generally distributed throughout the British Isles, including the Orkneys. The fore wings of southern specimens are usually suffused with reddish, but this is less obvious in northern examples. The markings are sometimes bold and striking or, on the other hand, only faintly defined, or largely absent. A pinkish-tinged brown form without markings was formerly confused with the Continental A. helvetina. The moth is on the wing in June and July, sometimes in August, especially in the north; and the caterpillar is to be found from July to May. When young it feeds on various low-growing plants, but later it crawls up at night to devour the leaves of hawthorn, sloe, sallow, birch, etc. It is brownish, tinged with pink, and marked on the back with a series of V-shaped dashes, and white points; on ring eleven there is a yellowish-edged black mark; above the white spiracles is a black-edged red-brown stripe. Head pale brown, freckled with darker brown.

The Autumnal Rustic (Noctua glareosa).

In its typical form as depicted on Plate 110, Fig. 4, this species is slaty grey with black markings. In Devonshire and other parts of the west of England, and also in Ireland, it assumes a decided pinkish tinge (var. rosea, Tutt). Through Scotland the colour becomes darker grey, and in Perthshire it merges into blackish grey. In the Shetlands a blackish, or sooty-brown form (var. edda, Staud.), occurs.

Moths of the British Isles Plate112.jpg


Pl. 112.
1. Ingrailed Clay: caterpillar.
2. Purple Clay: caterpillar.
3, 3a. Square-spot Rustic: caterpillar.

Moths of the British Isles Plate113.jpg


Pl. 113.
1. Double Square-spot. 2. Square-spotted Clay.
3, 4. Purple Clay. 5, 6, 7. Ingrailed Clay.
8, 9. Ingrailed Clay, var. conflua. 10, 11. Ingrailed Clay, var. thulei.

[ 219 ] The caterpillar feeds on grasses and various low plants, also on ling, heath, sallow, and has been found on wild hyacinth. It is yellowish-brown with dark shaded pale lines on the back, and a dark brown stripe on the sides; spiracles and dots blackish. October to June. The moth flies in August and September, and affects heathy places, borders of woods, etc., throughout the British Isles, including the Hebrides, Orkneys, and Shetlands. Except in the New Forest, Hampshire, it does not seem to be common in the southern counties of England; it occurs in Epping Forest, and in other parts of the eastern counties; northwards it becomes more generally distributed and more plentiful.

The Neglected, or Grey Rustic (Noctua castanea).

The reddish typical form of this species is shown on Plate 110, Fig. 3. Fig. 2 represents the greyish form, var. neglecta, which is most frequently met with in southern England. Between these extremes intermediate forms occur connecting one with the other. Specimens of a pale ochreous colour have been obtained in the vicinity of Market Drayton, Shropshire. The caterpillar, which feeds on heather and sallow at night, is pale reddish-brown, finely powdered with greyish; below the pale ochreous stripe on the sides, the ground colour is greenish; head marked with darker brown. September to May. The moth flies in August, and occurs on the larger tracts of heathery ground throughout the British Isles, but it is commoner in some parts than in others, and appears to be scarce in Ireland. The red form, and intermediates, occasionally occur in the New Forest, and also in other parts of Southern England, but in Scotland it is not uncommon. The distribution abroad is, like that of the last species, pretty much confined to Western Europe. [ 220 ]

The Dotted Clay (Noctua baja).

This species, a male and female of which are shown on Plate 114, Figs. 7 ♂ and 8 ♀ is common in wooded districts throughout the British Isles, except the Orkneys and the Shetlands. The colour of the fore wings ranges from pale greyish brown, or reddish grey, to reddish brown or purplish brown. Sometimes the first and second cross lines are bordered, or represented, by pale bands.

The caterpillar is dingy ochreous brown, or reddish brown; three yellowish lines along the back, the central one edged with blackish; the others have blackish bordered yellow triangular marks between them, on each ring from three to eleven; spiracles and dots black; head pale brown, shining. It feeds in the autumn on various low plants, and in the spring on hawthorn, sloe, sallow, bramble, etc. September to May. The moth flies in July and August. Its range abroad extends to Amurland and to North America.

The Plain Clay (Noctua depuncta).

This species is represented on Plate 110, Fig. 5, by a female specimen. Sometimes the fore wings are more reddish brown in colour, and the markings are occasionally bolder. The caterpillar is pale or dark reddish brown above, and rather greyish below; the back is marked with dark outlined diamonds, and the dark edged white spiracles have a dark shade above them, and an ochreous stripe below; head pale brown marked with darker. Feeds on primrose, dock, sorrel, nettle, etc. from September to May. The moth flies in July, August, and the early part of September. It seems to be more frequently and regularly obtained in Scotland, especially in the woods of Perthshire, Aberdeen and Moray. In England the species is, or has been, found in Oxfordshire (rare in beech woods), [ 221 ] Berkshire, Wiltshire (Savernake Forest), Devonshire (Dartmoor), South Wales (near Swansea), North Wales (Mold), Cheshire (one specimen, Staley-brushes), Yorkshire (Scarborough), Durham (one at Bishop Auckland), Cumberland (Barrow Wood). The range abroad includes Central Europe (except Holland and Belgium), Southern Sweden, Lavonia, and South-east Russia, Armenia, and Northern Asia Minor. It may be noted that Stephens, writing in 1829, considered this to be a doubtful British species.

The Setaceous Hebrew Character (Noctua c-nigrum).

A male specimen of this often common and generally distributed species is shown on Plate 110, Fig. 8. The fore wings vary in colour, from pale reddish grey through bright reddish or pinkish brown to purplish brown; the costal mark may be whitish, ochreous, or pinkish tinged. The moth is most frequently obtained in the autumn, but it is sometimes met with from May to July.

The caterpillar is pale brownish or greenish grey, with two series of black streaks, and a dark-edged pale central line, on the back; below the black outlined white spiracles is a black-edged yellow ochreous, or whitish stripe; head ochreous brown streaked with darker brown. It feeds on dock, chickweed, groundsel, and other low plants. It is said to feed from September to April or May. Possibly, however, in favourable seasons, some may pupate either in the autumn or in the early months of the year, and so attain the moth state greatly in advance of the majority. The range of this species' distribution extends to India, Corea, Japan, and North America.

The Black Collar (Noctua flammatra).

Fore wings pale greyish brown, with dark-edged pale cross lines; a pale whitish brown pink-tinged streak along the front [ 222 ] margin to the second line; below this is a short black dot; the reniform and orbicular marks are pale, the centre sometimes darker, and the claviform has a dark edge but is not distinct; the front of the thorax is broadly marked with black, hence the English name.

Only three British examples seem to be known; two of these were captured in the Isle of Wight, 1859 and 1876, and the third occurred in the lighthouse at Cromer in 1875. The range abroad is Central and Southern Europe, Western and Central Asia and India.

The Triple-spotted Clay (Noctua ditrapezium).

The ground colour of the fore wings of this moth ranges from pinkish brown through pale reddish brown to a purplish grey brown. The specimen shown on Plate 110, Fig. 9 ♂ is of the pinkish brown form from Tilgate Forest in Sussex. In a series bred from caterpillars obtained at Hampstead, North-west London, the bulk of the males are pale reddish brown, and the females purplish brown; one male, however, is as dark as the females. Caterpillar, purplish brown, mottled above with dark brown; a thin white line, interrupted with black, along the middle of the back, and a row of black marks on each side; on the sides are oblique blackish marks, with the white spiracles showing distinct at their lower ends. Head pale shining brown, the cheeks marked with darker brown. Feeds on dandelion, dock, chickweed, primrose, and other low plants; also on bramble and sallow, and in the spring on the young leaves of birch. September to May (Plate 111, Fig. 2).

The moth flies, in and around woods, in July. It is local and not always common, but has been found in the north-west and south-west districts of London, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Dorsetshire, Devon, Wales (Swansea and Barmouth), and Norfolk (Cromer). It occurs in Scotland (Perthshire), and [ 223 ] two specimens have been recorded from Ireland. Its range extends to Siberia and Amurland.

The Double Square-spot (Noctua triangulum).

This species (Plate 113, Fig. 1) is usually pale brown, more or less tinged with reddish, but some specimens are of a rather darker hue, and others inclined to greyish. The conspicuous marks in the discal cell, usually black or blackish, are sometimes pale or dark reddish brown. The moth flies in June and July, and occurs in woods or well-timbered districts throughout England (except in Somerset, Dorset, and westward), Wales, Scotland (mainland), and Ireland.

The Square-spotted Clay (Noctua stigmatica).

As will be seen from its portrait (Plate 113, Fig. 2), this moth, although darker in colour, is marked somewhat similarly to the last referred to. It should be noted, however, that the basal line is less distinct; the submarginal line is inwardly shaded with blackish, and there is no blackish spot at its costal extremity. The fore wings are sometimes pale reddish brown, and sometimes almost blackish.

The caterpillar, which is ochreous, or brownish, is somewhat similar in marking to that of A. ditrapezium, and feeds on dandelion, dock, chickweed, plantain, sallow, etc. In confinement it is said to eat sliced carrot or potato, and, if kept warm, may be induced to feed up and attain the moth state early in the year.

The moth flies in July and August and seems to be partial to woods. It is very local, but occurs not uncommonly in the New Forest, Hampshire, and in Oxfordshire and Berkshire beech woods; also found in Buckinghamshire, the Eastern Counties, Kent, Sussex, Dorsetshire, Devon, Lancashire (once), Yorkshire (very local), and North Wales (once). In Scotland [ 224 ] it appears to be more widely spread, but has not been noted in Ireland.

The Purple Clay (Noctua brunnea).

The fore wings of this moth (Plate 113, Figs. 3, 4) range in colour from purplish brown to reddish brown, or pale reddish brown; some of the darker forms are suffused with greyish, and the central area is occasionally ochreous tinged. There is also variation in the markings, especially the reniform stigma which is usually more or less filled in with ochreous or whitish tint, but not infrequently it is merely outlined in one of these colours, and the centre is then dark grey brown, sometimes enclosing a whitish or ochreous crescent. These remarks are of general application, but refer to a long series I obtained in North Devon.

The caterpillar (Plate 112, Fig. 2) is reddish brown with a yellowish tinge and with black dots and ochreous markings. It feeds on bilberry, wood-rush (Luzula), various low plants, bramble, sallow, and in the spring it attacks the buds and young leaves of the birch saplings, etc. August to May. The moth flies in June and July, and is often common in woods over almost the whole of the British Isles, including the Hebrides and the Orkneys. The range abroad extends to Amurland.

The Ingrailed Clay (Noctua primulæ).

This species, long known as festiva, but for which Esper's earlier name primulæ will have to be adopted, is exceedingly variable. Specimens of the more or less typical form and also of the forms known as conflua and thulei are portrayed on Plate 113. The fore wings range in colour from pale ochreous to chestnut brown, and from grey to smoky grey brown. The cross lines are distinct in some specimens, but in others are hardly visible; the discal cell is often no darker than the [ 225 ] general colour, but sometimes there is a reddish square spot in place of the usual black one; the reniform and orbicular marks may be only faintly outlined, and the latter sometimes cannot be traced; the brownish band-like shade between the outer and submarginal lines is frequently only indicated by a short dash from the front margin, and even this is occasionally absent.

The smaller moorland and mountain form, var. conflua, Treitschke, and in the vulgar tongue The Lesser Ingrailed, varies on somewhat similar lines. (Plate 113, Figs. 8, 9.) Var. thulei, Staudinger, also varies greatly in colour and in marking. Some specimens are dark reddish brown, or occasionally smoky brown; others are pale reddish brown, grey brown, reddish grey, or grey; the pale cross lines are generally distinct, in the darker specimens especially. This form, which is peculiar to the Shetland Isles, is shown on Plate 113, Figs. 10, 11. In the foregoing remarks reference has been made only to the general trend of variation; many other forms of aberration in this species might be mentioned if space permitted.

The caterpillar is pale or dark reddish or olive brown inclining to pinkish between the rings; the lines are yellowish, the central paler edged with brown, and the outer ones edged with blackish marks; oblique darker dashes on the sides; spiracles black, ochreous ringed, with a pale stripe below them; head pale brown marked with darker. It feeds on primrose, bilberry, dock, sallow, hawthorn, bramble, etc. August to May. (Plate 112, Fig. 1.) The moth flies in June, but specimens of a second generation have been obtained, in confinement, from August to October. The species in one form or another occurs in woods, on moorlands, etc., over the whole of the British Isles.

The Barred Chestnut (Noctua dahlii).

The sexes of this species are depicted on Plate 114. It will be noted that the female (Fig. 2) is darker in colour than the [ 226 ] male (Fig. 1). The sexual colour difference holds good generally, but there are exceptions and the male may sometimes be dark, like the female; or the latter sex may occasionally assume a reddish coloration. As a rule the reniform mark is most distinct in the female. A form occurring in Ireland with the fore wings dark sepia colour and the reniform mark clear whitish has been named var. perfusca, Kane. The caterpillar varies in the colour of the back through various shades of ochreous and brown to dark reddish brown, and this is always in strong contrast with the colour of the lower parts; the lines are pale, and the outer ones on the back are edged with black dashes; spots and spiracles black; head pale brown. It feeds on dock, plantain, etc., and in the spring on young sallow leaves. In confinement will become full grown before Christmas, but normally it feeds from September to May. The moth is out in late July and in August. It is found on heaths, moorlands, and in woods; it is not uncommon in some parts of the Midlands, and is found in Cheshire and northwards to Cumberland. It also occurs in Herefordshire, Pembrokeshire; in the south and east of England it is not frequent, but has been taken in South Oxfordshire, Berkshire (Newbury), Suffolk, Hants (Winchester and New Forest), etc. Widely distributed in Scotland, and locally abundant in Ireland. The distribution abroad extends to Amurland and Japan.

The Small Square Spot (Noctua rubi).

There are two generations of this species. The first is on the wing in June, and the second in August, September, and sometimes even in October. An example of each brood is shown on Plate 114, Fig. 3, 1st gen., Fig. 4, 2nd gen. The early moths are larger in size than the later ones, but are fewer in number. Moths of the second generation often abound at the sugar patches, and on ragwort blossom. The colour of [ 227 ] the fore wings varies from pale to dark reddish brown in both broods.

The caterpillar is greyish ochreous or brown, with dark-edged paler lines, and the brown head is marked with darker. It feeds on dandelion, dock, grass, etc. Those of the first generation feed from autumn to spring, and those of the second during the summer. The moth is found in almost every part of the British Isles, except, perhaps, the Hebrides and Shetlands.

The Six-striped Rustic (Noctua umbrosa).

This species (Plate 114, Fig. 5), is also generally distributed over our islands as far north as Moray, but it is rather partial to marshy situations. The caterpillar, which feeds from August to May on dock, plantain, bramble, bedstraw, etc., is pale ochreous or brownish, freckled with darker, and with dark-edged, pale ochreous lines on the back, the outer ones with a series of black wedges along them; a dark brown stripe low down along the sides; head pale brown marked with darker. The moth flies in July and August. It seems to prefer the flowers of the ragwort and the honey-dew on foliage to sugar, but the latter has attractions for it nevertheless.

Cousin German (Noctua (Mythimna) sobrina).

On Plate 114, Fig. 6, is a portrait of this greyish suffused purple-brown species, which in the British Isles is seemingly confined to certain localities in Perthshire and Aberdeen, and was first met with in the former county by Weaver in 1853. According to Barrett it is found chiefly in mountain districts from 700 feet above sea-level upwards.

The caterpillar is reddish or red brown, slightly mottled with grey; the marking on the back almost linear, widening a little, but narrowly lozenge-shaped near the end of each ring, and [ 228 ] having on the widest part a round pale spot of dirty ochreous; sides much mottled with grey; dots and spiracles black, and under the latter a pale pinkish, ochreous, brown stripe; head shining brownish ochreous, with two black dots in front of each lobe. (Adapted from Buckler.) It feeds on heather, bilberry, birch, grass, etc. September to June. The moth flies in July and August.

The Square-spot Rustic (Noctua (Segetia) xanthographa).

Four examples of this very common and most variable species are shown on Plate 114, Figs. 9-12. The colour of the fore wings ranges from whity brown, or drab, through various shades of grey-brown and red-brown to blackish. The more or less square reniform, and the orbicular, marks are subject to a good deal of modification; in some specimens they are whitish or ochreous and very conspicuous, and in others exceedingly faint or entirely missing; or the reniform may be well defined and prominent, and the orbicular absent; the cross lines are frequently obscure, except the dark-edged, pale submarginal, and this, too, may be wanting; occasionally there is a blackish shade between the stigmata and extending from the front to inner margins. The hind wings of the males are whitish, with a dark marginal border of variable width, but rarely, so far as I have noted, entirely absent; those of the females are uniformly darker.

The full-grown caterpillar (Plate 112, Fig. 3) is hardly separable from that of N. umbrosa, and feeds at the same date on low-growing plants, etc. The moth flies in August and early September. It is generally distributed throughout the British Isles, and is abundant pretty well everywhere.

The Flame Shoulder (Noctua (Ochropleura) plecta).

This moth (Plate 110, Fig. 7) is also common, and generally distributed throughout England, Ireland, Scotland (mainland), and Wales. The fore wings are usually purplish brown, but sometimes they are palish red brown; the creamy stripe on the front margin is more or less sprinkled with scales of the ground colour, occasionally so thickly that these marks appear reddish in tint; there is often a pale, wavy submarginal line, and in some specimens a dusky second line can be detected; not infrequently there are traces of the claviform mark, but I do not remember ever seeing any indication of a first line. The hind wings are white, and frequently the fringes are pale pinky brown.

Moths of the British Isles Plate114.jpg


Pl. 114.
1, 2. Barred Chestnut. 3, 4. Small Square-spot.
5. Six-striped Rustic. 6. Cousin German.
7, 8. Dotted Clay. 9, 10, 11, 12. Square Spot Rustic.

Moths of the British Isles Plate115.jpg


Pl. 115.
1, 2. Lunar Yellow Underwing.
4, 5, 7, 8. Lesser Yellow Underwing.
3, 6. Large Yellow Underwing.

[ 229 ] The caterpillar is brownish, varying from ochreous to reddish, freckled with darker; the broken lines on the back are pale, with dark edges, and there is a brown freckled, pale ochreous stripe along the sides; the usual spots are black, and the spiracles whitish, edged with brownish; head brown marked with darker. It feeds on various low plants, and also on lettuce, beet, etc., in gardens; there are certainly two broods in most years, one in the summer and the other in the autumn. The moth is out in May and June, and again in August and September. Specimens have also been taken in July, and occasionally in April. The species has a very extensive range abroad, extending to India, Corea, Japan, and North America.

The Flame (Axylia putris).

This species, which is depicted on Plate 132, Fig. 13, is pretty constant in its pale coloration and darker markings. It is often common, and is widely spread throughout England, Wales, Ireland, and in Scotland up to Ross.

The caterpillar is greyish brown, mottled and dusted with blackish, chiefly so on the sides; the central line is darker but indistinct, and there is a yellow spot on each ring; a whitish line on each side of the central one is edged above with curved black dashes, and these are most distinct on rings four to ten; [ 230 ] the eleventh ring is edged behind with ochreous; head dark brown; spiracles and raised dots blackish. (Adapted from Fenn.) It feeds on hedge bedstraw (Galium mollugo), dock, plantain, nettle, and many other low plants; also on lettuce. July to October. Generally the winter is passed in the chrysalis stage, and the moth comes out in the following June or July. Sometimes the moth has emerged in September.

The Lesser Yellow Underwing (Triphæna (Agrotis) comes = orbona).

This very variable species, of which the typical forms and two varieties are represented on Plate 115, is to be found, often abundantly, almost everywhere in the British Isles, except the Shetlands.

Apart from a form peculiar to Scotland, which will be separately referred to, the colour range of the fore wings is from pale ochreous-brown to a deep brown; in all shades there may be a tinge of reddish, or a suffusion of greyish. In Ireland and Scotland, and less frequently in England, a distinctly red form occurs. (Plate 115, Fig. 7.) Then there is variation in the markings, and more particularly in the reniform and orbicular marks; both stigmata are, perhaps, rarely absent, but they are frequently very faint, and of the orbicular there is often not a trace. On the other hand, both may be filled up with dark brown, or blackish, and very conspicuous. The cross lines, and more especially the shaded submarginal, are usually pretty much in evidence, but these are apt to disappear entirely. The yellow hind wings are occasionally smudged with blackish towards the base; the central crescents vary in size, and somewhat in shape, and although sometimes greatly reduced, they are only rarely quite missing; the black band before the outer margin is also subject to modification in width and the regularity of its edges. [ 231 ]

Var. curtisii, Newman, was discovered in the Isle of Bute by Curtis in 1825, but until 1871, when Newman gave it the name it now bears, it had been known as consequa, the name assigned to it by Curtis when figured by him in 1831. The form is generally rather smaller than the type; the fore wings are rich reddish brown, clouded to a greater or lesser extent with blackish, and sometimes entirely suffused with that colour. The yellow ground of the hind wings is rarely quite free of black scales, but in some specimens they are so thick that the yellow is hidden. A specimen of this form is shown on Plate 115, Fig. 8. It is found in the Orkneys, Sutherlandshire, Elgin, Inverness, Aberdeenshire; also in the Hebrides, and in the Isles of Bute and Arran.

The caterpillar (Plate 118, Fig. 2), is greenish ochreous varying to greenish brown; three yellowish lines on the back, the central edged with blackish and the others with dark oblong marks; spiracles white, edged with blackish, and below them an ochreous stripe; head grey brown marked with darker. It feeds on grass and most low plants from September to April. The moth is out in July and August.

Abroad it occurs chiefly in Central and Southern Europe, but its range extends to Southern Scandinavia and eastward to Asia Minor and Armenia.

The Lunar Yellow Underwing (Triphæna (Agrotis) orbona = subsequa).

Two specimens of this species are shown on Plate 115. Fig. 1 represents a specimen from Forres, in Scotland, and Fig. 2 an example from the New Forest, Hants.

Although there is some variation in the colour of the fore wings (which ranges from pale greyish brown to dark reddish brown), and also in the intensity and clearness of the markings, this species is far less aberrant than that last referred to, and [ 232 ] from which it is at once separated by the black mark on the front margin, placed on the inner edge of the submarginal line. The caterpillar is distinguished from that of comes by the black-edged broader ochreous central line, and a series of black oblong spots on each side of it; the stripe under the spiracles is broad, and ochreous. It feeds from September to April on grasses and various low plants. The moth flies in July and August. The species is widely distributed in Scotland, and occurs in Unst, the most northern of the Shetland Isles. In England it occurs, or has been found, in Durham, Yorkshire, Worcestershire (Malvern), Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Norfolk, Suffolk (not uncommon in the "Breck" district), Surrey, Sussex, Wilts, Hants (rather commonly in the New Forest), and the Isle of Wight. For Wales, Barrett states that it is rare in Pembrokeshire; and Kane mentions Co. Galway (four specimens), Killarney, and Lisbellaw for Ireland. The range abroad is somewhat similar to that of comes, but it extends further north in Scandinavia.

The Large Yellow Underwing (Triphæna (Agrotis) pronuba).

The colour of the fore wings of this common, and often abundant, species ranges through various shades of brown to dark purplish. In the typical form (Plate 115, Fig. 3), the wings are of the paler shades, mottled with darker, and the thorax, except the pale front, agrees in colour with the darker mottling of the wings. Fig. 6 shows the plain form (var. innuba, Treitschke), and it is in this form that the darkest colours appear; the thorax is always of the wing colour, and without the pale front. The black mark at upper end of the submarginal line is rarely absent, but I have a pale reddish-brown example of the innuba form without the mark. In the black-bordered yellow hind wings a central crescent is very [ 233 ] exceptional, but specimens in which it is more or less evident are not unknown.

The eggs figured on Plate 118 were found in August, 1906, on a leaf of gladiolus in the garden. When first noticed they were of a pale creamy-white colour, but two days afterwards the upper half of the batch became purplish grey, and the caterpillars hatched out the following morning, when the other half had also changed colour, and the larvæ hatched next day.

The caterpillar (Plate 118, Fig. 1), is obscure brownish, sometimes ochreous or green tinged; with ochreous lines on the back, the outer ones edged with blackish bars on rings four to eleven; head pale brown marked with darker. It feeds from August to May on grasses and low plants, and is often a pest in the flower or vegetable garden. When eggs are obtained early, the caterpillars from them will sometimes attain the moth state in the same year. The moth flies in June and July, and has occurred in April, September, and October.

The Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing (Triphæna fimbria).

This is another species with variable coloured fore wings, and four examples of it are shown on Plate 116. Pale ochreous brown and greyish brown is the most frequent colour, but various shades of greenish or olive brown are not uncommon. A dark reddish-brown form, known to collectors as the "mahogany form," seems to be somewhat rare. In the majority of specimens the basal third, and more or less of the central area adjacent to the second line seems to be the darkest coloured; but occasionally these parts are pretty much of the same tint as the rest of the wings.

The caterpillar (Plate 118, Fig. 4) is of a soft ochreous brown, sometimes red tinted, minutely dotted with blackish; the central line on the back is pale, and on each side are darkly-edged pale [ 234 ] oblique streaks; the white spiracles are followed by blackish marks; head brown freckled with darker. It feeds in the autumn on primrose, violet, dock, etc., and in the spring it seems to prefer the buds and young leaves of birch, sallow, bramble, hawthorn, sloe, chestnut, etc. The chrysalis, which also is figured, is dark reddish-brown, with two short anal spikes.

This species occurs in June and July, and frequents woodland localities throughout England, Ireland, Scotland (up to Moray), and Wales.

The Lesser Broad-border (Triphæna ianthina).

Fore wings violet or purplish grey with blackish cross bands and brownish suffusion, the latter more especially on the basal area; reniform and orbicular stigma outlined in whitish. (Plate 116, Fig. 3.) In another form the bands and suffusion are reddish-brown. The black clouding on basal area of hind wings sometimes extends further towards the marginal band. The caterpillar (Plate 118, Fig. 3) is of a greenish tinged ochreous brown colour, with a pale central line and series of dusky dashes along the back, these dashes becoming blackish on the hind rings; the white spiracles are set in a blackish mark, and under them is a pale ochreous stripe. It feeds in the autumn on primrose, bramble, dock, etc., and in the spring on the young growth of sallow, elm, hawthorn, etc. The moth flies in July and August, frequenting lanes, hedgerows, and woods. It is pretty generally distributed throughout England, Wales, Ireland, and Scotland as far north as Moray.

The Least Yellow Underwing (Triphæna interjecta).

Fore wings, dull reddish brown with darker cross lines and shades, often faint. On the inner margin of the yellow hind wings, two dusky shades run from the border to the base; these [ 235 ] are not infrequently as black as the border, which is often broader than in the specimen shown on Plate 116 (Fig. 4). The caterpillar is ochreous brown dotted with black; on the middle of the back is a brown stripe enclosing a whitish central line. A brown stripe along the sides is edged above with whitish; the head is pale ochreous brown lined with darker. Stated by Barrett to feed on grasses and low plants, or, in the spring, on young shoots of sallow; said also to eat primrose and dock. September to May. The moth is out in July and August, and affects lanes and hedgerows. I have found it more frequently on flowers of ragwort, and on "honey-dew," than on the sugar patch; but have met with it occasionally darting along some particular bit of hedgerow, in the late afternoon. Although apparently uncommon in the Midlands, it occurs more or less freely throughout England to Durham. In Ireland it has been found in counties Dublin, Wicklow, Waterford, Cork, Louth, Westmeath, Galway (Kane), and, Barrett adds, Antrim.

The Green Arches (Eurois prasina).

This moth is shown on Plate 117. When quite fresh the ground colour of the fore wings is a beautiful green, but this often fades after a time, and the wings then assume an ochreous hue. The cross lines are black relieved with whitish, and there is a whitish blotch on the second line touching the outer edges of the reniform stigma. The green colour varies in tint even when the insects are alive; and the black markings differ in intensity, being much stronger in some specimens than in others. The caterpillar is greyish brown, more or less tinged with violet; there are three fine whitish lines, and a series of blackish diamond-shaped marks on the back; the spiracles are white, and there is an ochreous stripe below them. It feeds on dock and other low plants, bramble, and in the spring on sallow shoots and the young growth of bilberry. July to April, or May. [ 236 ] The moth, which frequents woods; flies in June, but has been reared, as a second generation, late in the year. The species seems to be pretty generally distributed over England and Ireland, and is often common, especially in the south and east of the former country. From the Midlands northwards it appears to be less common, and its range more restricted. In Scotland it has been recorded from Roxburghshire (common at sugar in 1898), the Clyde district, and, Barrett adds, Perthshire.

The Great Brocade (Eurois occulta).

On Plate 117, Fig. 3 represents the typical grey form of this species, and Fig. 4 the black var. passetii, Thierry-Mieg. Intermediates occur connecting the melanic form with the type, and sometimes specimens are found of a paler hue than the type. Bred specimens occasionally have a rosy tinge, and this is then usually most in evidence between the first and second cross lines. The caterpillar is brown, with three ochreous lines on the back, the outer with dark oblique dashes on each ring; a whitish stripe along the spiracles is blotched with reddish, and edged above with black. It feeds in the autumn on dock, plantain, primrose, dandelion, etc., and in the spring on bramble, bilberry, sallow, heather, and birch, among other things. Usually it hibernates when small, but when kept indoors, and fairly warm, it can be induced to complete growth, and attain the moth state in October or later, sometimes even earlier. In the open the moth flies from the end of June to August.

Scotland appears to be the British home of the species, and it is found in most woods throughout that country, including the isles, but it is rare in the Shetlands. It occurs in Durham (rare), and in Yorkshire was not uncommon at Everingham in 1897, and several were obtained at Middlesbrough in 1900. Further south its occurrence is even more casual, and the most recent captures I have any note of are, two specimens in Lincolnshire, August, 1896, and one each in Norfolk and North East London, August, 1900. Also recorded from Essex. Only two specimens are known from Ireland.

The range abroad extends to Amurland, Corea, and to North America.

Moths of the British Isles Plate116.jpg


Pl. 116.
1, 2, 5, 6. Broad-Bordered Yellow Underwing.
3. Lesser Broad-Bordered Yellow Underwing.
4. Least Yellow Underwing.

Moths of the British Isles Plate117.jpg


Pl. 117.
1, 2. Green Arches. 3, 4. Great Brocade. 5. Silvery Arches. 6. Pale Shining Brown.
[ 237 ]

The Silvery Arches (Aplecta (Mamestra) tincta).

The moth represented on Plate 117, Fig. 5, has the fore wings silvery grey clouded with brownish on the central area; or occasionally spreading over a larger portion of the wings, and sometimes purplish in tint. The caterpillar is brownish inclining to reddish, clouded on the back with paler and darker brown. The central line, which has a broken blackish edging, is only distinct on the front rings. Spiracles black; head pale brown marked with darker brown. In the autumn it feeds on low plants such as dock, plantain, etc.; but in the spring it is found at night on the young growth of birch and sallow bushes, and more rarely on hawthorn, and I believe, on bilberry. The moth which occurs in birch woods in June and July, is not uncommon in the south of England from Essex to Hampshire, and has been found in Dorset and Devonshire. It has also been obtained more or less frequently in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Cambridgeshire (once), Huntingdon, Worcestershire (Wyre Forest and Malvern), Staffordshire (north), Lancashire (Witherslack), Yorkshire (Huddersfield, once), and Westmoreland. In Scotland it ranges on the west from Ayr to Argyllshire, but although local is more frequent in Perthshire, Moray, and Sutherland. Var. obscurata, Staud., is a form of this species occurring in Amurland and Southern Siberia.

The Pale Shining Brown (Aplecta (Mamestra) advena).

This moth (Plate 117, Fig. 6) is pale reddish brown and glossy, especially on the outer area, on the fore wings. The caterpillar [ 238 ] is pale ochreous brown above, and inclining to greenish below; three dark-edged pale lines, and a series of dark diamond-shaped marks on the back. The usual dots are whitish encircled with blackish, and the blackish edged spiracles are reddish brown; head olive brown, and plate on first ring blackish with the three lines showing distinct. From July to September it feeds on various low plants, including rest-harrow, dandelion, and knotgrass, also on broom, bilberry (Barrett); and Newman mentions sowthistle (Sonchus) and lettuce. In confinement the moth sometimes emerges in the autumn, but in the open it flies in June and July. Flowers seem to have more attraction for it than sugar. I have taken it at the blossoms of wood sage, white campion, and woundwort (Stachys), and Barrett notes, bladder campion, viper's bugloss, and the martagon lily. The species is chiefly found, as regards England, in the southern and eastern counties; and in the Solway, Clyde, Forth, and Tay districts of Scotland. Louth is the only Irish county from which it has been reported. The range abroad extends to Amurland. In North America the species is represented by var. purpurissata, Grote.

The Grey Arches (Aplecta (Mamestra) nebulosa).

Grey of some shade is the more general hue of this species, but it varies in the West of England and in Ireland to white (var. pallida, Tutt), and this form is shown on Plate 119, Fig. 3. In Cheshire (Delamere), Lancashire (Warrington), and South Yorkshire black or blackish forms occur, and two examples of this melanic race are portrayed on the plate, Fig. 4 being var. robsoni, Collins, and Fig. 5 var. thompsoni, Arkle. Over the greater part of England, and in Scotland, the greyish form is most frequently met with, but the white form has been found in Argyllshire and in Sutherland. The caterpillar is ochreous brown or brownish grey, with a series of diamond-shaped blackish marks, and a pale central line, on the back; [ 239 ] the dots and the spiracles are black, each of the latter with a blackish streak in front of it. In the autumn it feeds upon dock and other low plants; but in the spring, when it is more easily found, the caterpillar eats the buds and young leaves of birch, oak, sallow, bramble, etc. The moth is out in June and July, and is not uncommon in woods. The black form seems to be peculiar to north England. In Amurland the species is represented by var. askolda, Oberthür, and in North America by var. nimbosa, Guenée.

The Cabbage Moth (Barathra brassicæ).

The darker markings of this very common greyish moth are often very obscure, but the white outline of the reniform stigma, and the white submarginal line are usually distinct. The caterpillar varies in colour, but generally is some shade of dull brown or greenish, with the usual dots greyish or green tinged. The central line on the back is dusky, speckled with white, and the stripe low down on the sides is yellowish, greenish, or dingy brown; head ochreous brown marked with darker or greenish. Although it is exceedingly partial to the cabbage and other plants of the kind, it will feed upon almost every sort of low herbage, wild or cultivated. Barrett states that it has been found feeding on oak. I have taken it from birch in the garden, and it is known to eat leaves of almost any tree or shrub that may be offered to it in confinement. July to October. The moth is out in June and July, and sometimes there is an emergence in September. The species occurs over the whole of the British Isles, and abroad its range extends to India, Amurland, and Japan. (Plate 120, Figs. 3♂, 6♀.)

The Dot (Mamestra persicariæ).

The striking feature of the bluish-black moth shown on Plate 120, Figs. 1, 2, is the brownish centred white reniform [ 240 ] stigma. Except that the yellowish submarginal line is sometimes obscured, the species is very constant in the British Isles. Abroad, a form without the white mark is known as unicolor, Staud., and one or two examples have been recorded as occurring in England, two in 1895 said to have been reared by a northern collector from caterpillars obtained in the London district. The caterpillar figured on Plate 129, Fig. 2, was pale green with darker green markings. In another form the colour is pale brown with the markings darker brown. It is found from August to October on all sorts of low plants, and in the garden, where it is often common in the suburbs of London, is very fond of the foliage of Anemone japonica and lupin, among other plants. The moth is out in July and August, but is not often common north of the Midlands, though it occurs, or has been found in almost all the counties of England. Its occurrence in Scotland seems to be doubtful, and Kane states that it is rare in Ireland, and almost absent from the northern counties. Its range abroad extends to China and Japan.

The White Colon (Mamestra albicolon).

Two specimens of this species are shown on Plate 120, Figs. 7, 8. It will be noted that, except for the two white dots at the lower outer edge, the outline of the reniform mark is very obscure; these dots are placed one below the other, thus forming a :, hence the English name of the moth. Blackish specimens have been obtained on the east coast of Scotland.

The caterpillar is green or bluish grey, with a dark-edged pale central line; spiracles white, margined with black. Barrett states that it feeds in June and July, and probably as a partial second generation in September, on plantain, dandelion, and other low plants growing in sand; probably also on Atriplex, Chenopodium, and Cruciferæ; but it is a larva of secret habits and is very little known.

Moths of the British Isles Plate118.jpg


Pl. 118.
1, 1a. Large Yellow Underwing: eggs and caterpillar.
2. Lesser Yellow Underwing: caterpillar.
3, 3a. Lesser Broad-border: caterpillar and chrysalis.
4, 4a. Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing: caterpillar and chrysalis.

Moths of the British Isles Plate119.jpg


Pl. 119.
Grey Arches Moth and varieties.

[ 241 ]

The moth, which flies in May and June, and again in July and August, frequents sandhills on the west, especially those of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Cheshire, and Wales. In Norfolk and Suffolk it is found in the Breck Sand district as well as on the coast, and it also occurs on the coasts of Dorset, Somerset, Devon, and Cornwall, but seems to be uncommon in most of these counties. In Scotland it occurs in suitable parts of the east coast to Aberdeen, and on the west coast to the Clyde; and in Ireland on the coasts of Kerry, Louth, and Derry.

The Bright-line Brown-eye (Mamestra oleracea).

The English name of this very common moth (Plate 120, Figs. 4, 5), applies to the majority of specimens, but now and then the ochreous, or yellow reniform stigma, referred to as the brown eye, is blurred and indistinct, and the white submarginal line may almost disappear. The ground colour of the fore wings ranges from reddish or purple brown to dark brown. The caterpillar (Plate 129, Fig. 1), varies from green to light brown, sometimes the brownish forms are tinged with pink; the body is minutely dotted with white, and the usual dots are black; the spiracles are white, margined with black, and placed on the blackish edge of a yellow stripe; there are three greyish, but frequently indistinct, lines on the back. It feeds from July to September on most low plants, and is often found in abundance under spreading clumps of goose-foot (Chenopodium), and has been noted in profusion upon tamarisk growing by the sea. The moth flies in June and July, sometimes in the autumn. Except, perhaps, in the Hebrides, it has been found throughout the British Isles.

The Light Brocade (Mamestra genistæ).

The moth portrayed on Plate 121, Fig. 1, is not given to much variation. The central area enclosed by the cross lines is [ 242 ] more or less clouded with reddish or purplish brown, not extending, as a rule, below the black bar between the lines, but sometimes the inner area is clouded with purplish from the second cross line to the base of the wing. The caterpillar is pale olive greenish above, with brownish and blackish diamonds or V-shaped markings; three lines on the back are dark-edged but indistinct; a cloudy line along the white spiracles. The colour varies from greenish to brownish grey or purplish brown, and all shades may occur in the same brood. It feeds in July and August on broom, dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria), persicaria, and other low plants. The moth is out in May and June, and may be seen in the daytime on palings and other kinds of fencing, and also on tree trunks. It occurs in England from Worcestershire and Northampton southwards, but seems to be rarely met with northwards. Four or five specimens were taken at electric light near Tarporley, Cheshire, about 1900 (Day's List). It has been recorded from Ayr, Argyll, and Paisley in Scotland, but its occurrence in Ireland is doubtful. The distribution abroad ranges to Eastern Siberia.

The Dog's Tooth (Mamestra dissimilis).

The example of this species shown on Plate 121, Fig. 2, is of the reddish-tinged pale brown form from Essex; but in that county, and also in other parts of England, the fore wings are sometimes clouded with sooty-brown. In other forms the fore wings are purplish or reddish brown, and the markings may be very distinct, or much obscured. The caterpillar is greenish or brown, minutely dotted with white, and freckled with dark greyish; the usual dots are black; there are indications of darker lines on the back, but these are not always clearly defined; the white spiracles are set in the black interrupted edge of a yellowish stripe. It feeds in July and August, on dock, plantain, etc. The moth flies in June and July, and occasionally in the autumn. Its haunts are marshy places, especially on the coast, and mosses; and it is found in most of the seaboard southern and eastern counties, and more rarely inland. Recorded from Ayr and Kirkcudbright in Scotland; is widely distributed in Ireland, and not rare in Louth and Kerry.

Moths of the British Isles Plate120.jpg


Pl. 120.
1, 2. Dot Moth. 4, 5. Bright-line Brown-eye.
3, 6. Cabbage Moth. 7, 8. White Colon.

Moths of the British Isles Plate121.jpg


Pl. 121.
1. Light Brocade. 2. Dog's Tooth. 3, 4. Dark Brocade.
5. Beautiful Arches. 6. Beautiful Brocade. 7. Pale Shouldered Brocade.
[ 243 ]

The Pale-shouldered Brocade (Mamestra thalassina).

The whitish or creamy-white patch at the base of the reddish-brown fore wings is a noticeable feature of this moth (Plate 121, Fig. 7), and is almost always present, even when the wings are darkened and the other markings more or less obscured. The W-like angles of the white submarginal line run through to the fringes. In some specimens the general colour is purplish brown, and in others greyish brown. The caterpillar is greyish-brown with a slight reddish tinge, and freckled with darker brown; the usual dots are black; central line dusky, a series of darker oblique dashes on each side of it; the line along the spiracles is rather broad and sometimes edged above with blackish. It feeds in August and September on dock, groundsel, honeysuckle, broom, sallow, hawthorn, apple, etc. The moth is out in June, earlier or later according to the season; sometimes it appears again in August or September. It may be found, commonly as a rule, in most woods over the greater part of the British Isles.

The Beautiful Brocade (Mamestra contigua).

The moth (Plate 121, Fig. 6) has a pale patch at the base of the fore wing, but this is not so conspicuous as is the pale orbicular stigma, which is often united with a pale mark at its lower edge; another pale patch lies at the inner angle, and the whole area between the second cross line and the clouding on [ 244 ] the outer margin may be pale. Sometimes these pale markings are tinged with pink, and more rarely the whole surface is pinkish suffused. The caterpillar is yellowish-green with reddish V-shaped marks on the back; a yellowish line along the black-margined white spiracles. Buckler figures a reddish-brown form, with a yellowish stripe below the spiracles. It feeds in August and September on birch, oak, golden rod, bog myrtle (Myrica gale), dock, brake-fern (Pteris aquilina), etc. The moth appears in June, and may sometimes be seen in the daytime on tree trunks or palings. It is a woodland species, but although it occurs in most southern and eastern counties, it is not common in any of them; it becomes commoner in the Midlands, but is scarce in, or absent from, the northern counties of England, and in Wales. In Scotland it is more frequent in some localities from Argyll to Ross. Kane notes it as local, and sometimes abundant, but from the localities given it would seem to be widely distributed in Ireland. The range abroad extends through Northern Asia to Japan.

The Broom Moth (Mamestra pisi).

The moth shown on Plate 122, Figs. 1, 2 varies considerably, in the colour of the forewings ranging from purplish red to dingy ochreous brown or greyish brown. The cross lines and occasionally the stigmata and shades may disappear, but the yellow submarginal line always remains, at least in part. The caterpillar (Plate 129, Fig. 3) feeds on the foliage of a variety of plants including brake fern or braken, sweet gale, broom, bramble, wild rose, and sallow, and may be found, often in the daytime, in August and September. It is usually of some shade of green or brown, occasionally blackish, with yellow stripes. The moth is out in June and July and is more or less common almost throughout the British Isles. The range abroad extends to Amurland.

Moths of the British Isles Plate122.jpg


Pl. 122.
1, 2. Broom Moth. 3, 4. Nutmeg Moth.
5, 6. Glaucous Shears. 7, 8, 9. Shears Moth.
10. The Stranger. 11, 12. Brindled Green.

Moths of the British Isles Plate123.jpg


Pl. 123.
1, 4. Northern Arches Moth. 3. Northern Arches Moth, var. assimilis.
2. Barrett's Marbled Coronet. 5. Grey Moth.
6. Marbled Coronet. 7, 8. Marbled Coronet vars.

[ 245 ]

The Nutmeg (Mamestra trifolii).

The fore wings of this species (Plate 122, Figs. 3, 4) are usually greyish brown variegated with darker; cross lines pale with black edging. Sometimes the general colour is tinged with ochreous. The caterpillar is green with a darker central and two whitish lines on the back, the outer lines with black marks on them; a white edged pinkish stripe along the black-margined white spiracles. It feeds from July to September, sometimes earlier or later, on goose-foot, orach, beet, and other Chenopodiacæ, and has also been found on young leaves of onion. The moth is out in May and June, and as a second generation in late July and August. In 1903 a specimen was taken, at Boscombe, on March 21. The species is more especially attached to the coast, but is plentiful in the Breck Sand district of Norfolk and Suffolk, in market gardens and waste places around London, and is found more or less frequently up to Staffordshire. In Cheshire and Yorkshire it is scarce. Barrett states that in Scotland it is found rarely in Roxburghshire and Aberdeenshire; and not very uncommonly in the Clyde Valley; it is, however, not mentioned in the list of the lepidoptera of the Clyde area published in 1901. Only two specimens have been recorded from Ireland. The range abroad includes Northern Asia, Canada, and the United States of America.

The Glaucous Shears (Mamestra glauca).

Noticeable features of this dark-clouded whitish grey species (Plate 122, Figs. 5♂, 6♀) are the whitish, or whitish outlined, stigmata; and the conspicuous black wedges on the inner edge of the pale submarginal line. The ground colour is sometimes purplish tinged; the dark clouding may spread over the greater part of the fore wings. The caterpillar is dark red brown with darker freckles, a whitish central line, and two [ 246 ] series of dusky dashes; a paler line along the black-edged white spiracles; head pale brown freckled with darker. Feeds in July and August on heather, sallow, bog myrtle, etc., and will thrive on lettuce. The moth is out in May and June, and may be found resting by day on tree trunks, fences, or rocks. This species in England occurs chiefly in hilly districts of the northern counties from Staffordshire to Cumberland; recorded from Glamorgan. In Scotland it is widely distributed from Ayr to Ross, and is also found in the Hebrides and the Orkneys; and in Ireland is obtained in several of the northern counties, and on the Hill of Howth. The range abroad extends to Amurland.

The Shears (Mamestra dentina).

The ground colour of this species, three specimens of which are shown on Plate 122, Figs. 7, 8♂, 9♀, ranges from the normal pale grey through various shades of brownish grey. The markings, usually well in evidence, are sometimes obscured in the darker specimens. The caterpillar is brownish with three white lines and a series of grey-brown diamond-pattern blotches on the back; the outer lines with blackish spots upon them; the stripe along the black spiracles greyish; head pale brown marked with blackish; plates on first and last rings of the body glossy. Feeds in July and August on dandelion, knotgrass, chickweed, hawk's-beard (Crepis), hawkweed (Hieracium), etc. The moth flies in May and June and appears to be found throughout the British Isles. Represented in Siberia by the dark form latenai, Pierret.

The Stranger (Mamestra peregrina).

This species, which is an inhabitant of Asia Minor, Southern Russia, Turkey, Dalmatia and Northern Italy, occurs in Southern, Western, and Northern France; and three specimens [ 247 ] have been recorded as taken in England—all at Freshwater in the Isle of Wight—the first in 1858, the second in 1859, and the third about 1876. The specimen depicted on Plate 122, Fig. 10, was received from abroad.

Barrett's Marbled Coronet (Dianthœcia luteago, var. barrettii).

The type, which is of ochreous coloration, does not occur in the British Isles, although in one example of var. barrettii, reared by Mr. Kane, a faint ochreous tinge was apparent, but this faded out in a few weeks. Fig. 2, Plate 123, represents a specimen, kindly lent by Mr. R. Adkin, of var. barrettii, Doubleday, a form discovered in Ireland, at Howth, by the late Mr. C. G. Barrett, in June, 1861. In 1879 a specimen was taken on the coast at Ilfracombe, North Devon; one example was reared from a caterpillar found at Tenby, South Wales, in 1884, and one was captured in Carnarvonshire, North Wales, in 1897. In the last mentioned year specimens were taken by the late Major Ficklin on the coast of Cornwall, and as the Cornish form differs from the Irish form in being grey instead of brown, it has been named var. ficklini, Tutt. A second specimen was obtained in North Wales in 1899. Since its first detection at Howth the insect has been taken in limited numbers almost every year; and in 1906 Major C. Donovan recorded it as widely distributed along the coast of Co. Cork, the specimens being large, of a dark slate colour with distinct light whitish grey markings.

The caterpillar is pale ochreous with a pinkish tinge; the central line is greyish brown and the spiracles black; head reddish brown marked with darker. It feeds on the roots of seaside campion (Silene maritima), July to September. The moth flies from June to August. Like most of the species in this genus, it does not care for the collector's sugar, and except [ 248 ] that an occasional specimen may be found resting on the rocks, the moths must be netted as they fly at dusk to the flowers of Silene. Staudinger considers that var. barrettii is identical with var. argillacea, Hübn.

The Grey (Dianthœcia cæsia).

The obscurely marked slate grey insect shown on Plate 124, Fig. 5, was first found at Tramore, Ireland, and in the Isle of Man about the same year (1866 or 1867). Kane mentions that he has found the insect at Tramore, and also in eleven other localities on the rocky coast line of the South of Ireland, from Hook Point to Dingle Bay. Our form of the species, var. manani, Gregson, differs from the greyish blue continental type in its darker coloration, and this is intensified in the south-west corner of Ireland where specimens of a uniform bluish black occur.

The caterpillar is pale ochreous brown minutely freckled with darker; the lines on the back are blackish, but indistinct; usual dots margined with black; head pale brown, marked with darker. It feeds on the buds, flowers, and seeds of campions (Silene maritima and S. inflata) from June to August. The moth flies in June, July, and early August, and may be taken, like the last species, at the flowers of the campions growing on the rocks in its seaside haunts.

The Marbled Coronet (Dianthœcia conspersa).

Three forms of this locally variable species are shown on Plate 123. Fig. 6 represents the typical form occurring generally in England, but in North Devonshire, on the coast, specimens are found closely approaching the Isle of Lewis form (Fig. 7), whilst others from that district agree in the blackish ground colour with specimens from Ireland. A still darker [ 249 ] race occurs in the Shetland Isles, and chiefly on the east coasts, whence came the specimen depicted (Fig. 8). On the western sides of the Shetlands, Mr. McArthur found the species to be rather more typical as a whole, although some specimens approached the darker eastern form. The dark Shetland race has been named var. hethlandica by Staudinger, and the form with the white markings yellowish tinged is var. ochrea, Gregson.

The caterpillar is pale ochreous brown; the back sprinkled with darker, and forming still darker V-shaped marks, central line pale; spiracles ochreous with black outlines, set in the upper edge of a pale stripe; head shining pale yellowish-brown freckled and lined with darker. It feeds on the seeds of catchfly, campion, and will eat those of sweet-william and garden pinks. July to September. The moth is out in June and July, and at dusk visits the flowers of its food plants, and occasionally comes to sugar. It is chiefly found in the seaboard counties, but as regards England is commoner in the south than in the north. Although generally rare in the inland counties, it is sometimes not uncommon in some Surrey localities, such as the Croydon district, and Mr. Scollick has reared moths from caterpillars found in seed capsules of white campion at Horsley.

The distribution of this species extends to Amurland.

The White Spot (Dianthœcia albimacula).

The moth shown on Plate 124, Fig. 1, is "The Beautiful Coronet" of some writers. Although a specimen was taken in Kent in 1816, nothing further was heard of the species in England until 1865, when one example was captured in the Portsmouth district. Then in 1873 caterpillars were found in the Birchwood locality where the first moth was secured. The next year the species was found to occur at Folkestone, and subsequently at other places along the Kentish coast. Since [ 250 ] 1889 it has been obtained, not uncommonly, at Seaton on the South Devon coast. The caterpillar, which is somewhat similar to that of the last species, feeds in July and August on the seeds of the Nottingham catchfly (Silene nutans), but will thrive on those of other kinds of catchfly, campion, or even sweet-william and garden pinks. The moth flies in May and June.

The Varied Coronet (Dianthœcia compta).

In Europe this species has a less northerly range than D. conspersa, and its eastward range extends to Japan. The caterpillar feeds on the seeds of Dianthus.

In his list of the lepidoptera of Ireland (Ent. Mo. Mag., 1866), Birchall remarks: "A pair of this well-known species, taken in Ireland by Mr. Tardy, are in the collection of Trinity College, but I am unable to indicate the exact locality of their capture." This is probably all the evidence we have of the occurrence of this species in the British Isles. The specimen represented on Plate 124, Fig. 2, is from the Continent.

The Lychnis (Dianthœcia capsincola).

Except that the brown ground colour is sometimes of a reddish shade, or greyish in tone, there is not much to notice in the variation of this species. Occasionally the outlines of the reniform and orbicular marks are usually white and distinct, and now and then the black markings are intensified. Two specimens are shown on Plate 124, Figs. 3 ♂, 4 ♀. The caterpillar is brownish ochreous freckled with darker, and with a pale central line and a series of dusky V-shaped marks on the back; a paler stripe along the whitish spiracles; head pale reddish brown, marked with darker brown. It feeds in July, sometimes in September, on campion, ragged robin, catchfly, and sweet-william and pinks. Fig. 3, Plate 130, is from a coloured drawing [ 251 ] by Mr. A. Sich, and represents the caterpillar, as seen when making the sketch, holding a seed between its front pair of legs and up to its mouth. The moth is out in May and June, and in some years there is a second flight in the autumn. The species is more or less common over the greater part of the British Isles.

The Campion (Dianthœcia cucubali).

This moth (Plate 124, Figs. 5 ♂, 6 ♀) is very similar to the last, but it has a distinct violet tinge, the orbicular mark is lengthened, and its lower edge touches, or almost touches, the reniform; the second line is distinct and straighter above the inner margin. The caterpillar is greenish, tinged with orange-brown on the front rings; the central line is greyish-brown, and the V-marks on the back and oblique stripes low down on the sides are orange-brown. It feeds on the leaves as well as the unripe seeds of campion, ragged robin, and catchfly in July, August, and September. The moth is out in June, and examples of a second generation in August. Like the rest of the species of the genus, it is most partial to flowers, but it occasionally puts in an appearance at the sugar patch. Pretty generally distributed over the British Isles. The range abroad extends to Amurland, China, and Japan.

The Tawny Shears (Dianthœcia carpophaga).

This species ranges in the colour of the fore wings from almost white, through various shades of ochreous brown.

The white and ochreous-tinted specimens are found in Kent and Sussex chiefly, whilst the ochreous-brown forms are more generally distributed in England. Barrett states that in the south of Scotland a form occurs in which the ground colour is very pale dull brown with all the darker markings and cloudings deep umberous, the cloudings more extended. Var. capsophila [ 252 ] (The Pod Lover), which represents the species in Ireland and the Isle of Man, is of a greyish coloration and lacks the ochreous tint; the dark markings, especially on the area between the first and second cross lines, are blackish or black, and the outlines of the stigmata are very distinct. Kane mentions dull black specimens, from the Blasket Islands, in which only vestiges of the stigmata and submarginal line remained clear. Pembrokeshire specimens have a colour range intermediate between carpophaga (Plate 124, Fig. 9) and var. capsophila (Figs. 7, 8), and serve to connect one with the other. The caterpillar, which is purplish brown with rather broad ochreous-brown lines on the back, feeds in June and July and again in September, on seeds of catchfly, campion, and sweet-william. The moth flies in May and June, sometimes in late July and August.

The Viper's Bugloss (Dianthœcia (Epia) irregularis).

The earliest British specimen of this moth (Plate 125, Fig. 1) of which there is any clear record is that found by the late Rev. A. H. Wratislaw, in July, 1868, resting on viper's bugloss (Echium vulgare), in a locality about ten miles from Bury St. Edmunds. Subsequently Tuddenham was indicated as the locality, and there, as well as in other parts of the Breck Sand district of Suffolk and Norfolk the species continues to flourish. Echium was at first supposed to be the food plant, but it was soon ascertained the larval pabulum was the flowers and seeds of the local catchfly (Silene otites). In September, 1870, Mr. Porritt described the caterpillar, and he found that in confinement it did not object to Ragged Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi) in place of the Silene.

In colour the caterpillar is pale yellowish brown, tinged with green; three more or less distinct pale lines, and a series of smoke-coloured V-shaped marks on the back. Spiracles black with a yellowish white stripe below them, and a smoke-coloured one above; head wainscot brown dotted with black. It may be found on its food plant from late July to early September. The moth flies in June and July, but seems to have been very rarely met with in the open, although large numbers of the caterpillars, which are frequently "ichneumoned," are collected almost every year. A specimen, recently presented to the Lincoln Museum, is said to have been reared from a caterpillar found on viper's bugloss in the neighbourhood of East Ferry in North Lincolnshire.

Moths of the British Isles Plate124.jpg


Pl. 124.
1. White Spot Moth. 2. Varied Coronet.
3, 4. Lychnis. 5, 6. Campion.
7, 8. Pod Lover. 9, 10. Tawny Shears.

Moths of the British Isles Plate125.jpg


Pl. 125.
1. Viper's Bugloss. 2. Small Ranunculus.
3, 4. Broad-barred White. 5, 6. Minor Shoulder-knot.
7, 8. Minor Shoulder-knot varieties.
[ 253 ]

The Small Ranunculus (Hecatera chrysozona).

Except that the general grey coloration of the fore wings of this moth (Plate 125, Fig. 2) may be whiter or of a darker grey tint, there is little in the way of variation to refer to. Usually the area between the cross lines is dark grey, sometimes marked with yellow on the reniform and towards the inner margin. A series of yellow dots on the submarginal line is almost always present, but may be absent. The caterpillar is pale reddish brown; three fine double blackish lines and two rows of black dots on the back; a fine blackish line along the black spiracles. Head pale brown and glossy. In another form the general colour is some shade of green; yellowish to olive. It feeds in July and August on the flowers and seeds of the wild lettuce (Lactuca saligna, and L. virosa), hawk's-beard (Crepis), and also on those of the garden lettuce. The moth is out late in June and July, and at dusk may be seen at the blossoms of various plants in gardens and elsewhere, but seems to be most partial to those of spur-valerian (Centranthus ruber). It is found in the eastern counties, especially in Cambridgeshire; Surrey, and (rarely) in Sussex and Dorsetshire. Other English counties in which it has been noted are Hertford, Huntingdon, Northampton, Oxford, Berks, Somerset, and Hereford. [ 254 ]

The Broad-barred White (Hecatera serena).

Most of the British examples of this species have the thorax and fore wings almost pure white, the latter with a central blackish grey band (var. leuconota, Ev., Plate 125, Figs. 3♂, 4♀). The white, however, especially on the outer margin, is sometimes clouded with greyish, and occasionally the ground colour has a greyish tinge, thus approaching var. obscura, Staudinger. The caterpillar is ochreous brown, more or less tinged with green, minutely dotted with dark grey, forming indistinct blotches; the stripe along the black spiracles is yellow tinged with green below. Head brownish, glossy. It feeds in July and August on hawk's-beard (Crepis). The smaller caterpillars may be found by day resting on the yellow flowers. In confinement they will eat the flowers and seeds of garden lettuce; and Prout mentions dandelion blossoms, and also those of almost any of the Compositæ. The moth is out from June to August, and in the daytime may be seen sitting on fences, tree trunks, rocks and walls. It is pretty generally distributed in the southern portion of England, but becomes scarce northwards. In Scotland it seems to be little known, but Renton records it as common in Roxburghshire, and in 1898 Mr. Kirkaldy kindly gave me three greyish-shaded specimens that he picked up casually at Pitlochry, Perthshire, in July of that year. It has been found in North Wales, but is more frequent in the southern parts of that country. Rather local and usually scarce in Ireland; but has been found in counties Waterford, Dublin, Wicklow, Louth, Antrim, Westmeath, Galway, Cork, and Kerry. The range abroad extends to Siberia and Amurland.

The Bordered Gothic (Neuria reticulata).

The cross lines and the veins are pale brown, sometimes tinged with pink. These markings give the moth (Plate 126, Figs. 1♂, 2♀) a netted appearance, which, apart from the different ground colour and clouding, distinguishes it from the Gothic, with which it is sometimes confused. The antennæ, too, of the male are only fringed with minute hairs, whilst those of the male Gothic are broadly pectinated. The caterpillar is greenish or pinkish ochreous, mottled with darker, and with slightly paler lines on the back and sides; head light brown. It will feed in July and August on knot-grass; and soapwort (Saponaria), Silene inflata, and Dianthus, have been mentioned as food plants. The moth is out in June and July. The species occurs in nearly all the counties of England to Yorkshire, but except in Cambridgeshire, and perhaps Oxfordshire, it is not common in any of the southern or eastern counties, although more frequently found in them than northwards. It has not been recorded from Scotland, and seems to be rare in Ireland, as it has only been noted from Co. Dublin and Co. Cork.

Moths of the British Isles Plate126.jpg


Pl. 126.
1, 2. Bordered Gothic. 3, 4. Dusky Sallow.
5. Orache Moth. 6, 7. Saxon Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate127.jpg


Pl. 127.
1, 2. Figure of Eight Moth. 3, 4. Feathered Gothic.
5. Green Brindled Dot. 6, 7. Beautiful Gothic.
8, 9. Antler Moth.
[ 255 ]

Feathered Gothic (Tholera (Epineuronia) popularis).

The male of this species (Plate 127, Fig. 3) is strongly attracted by light, and frequently seen in houses, and is no doubt a familiar object to most residents in the country, and even in the suburbs of London. The female (Fig. 4) does not visit light, but this sex, and the males also, may be found sitting after dark upon the upper erect leaves of the hard grasses, such as the matweed (Nardus stricta). Of course a lantern will be required to throw a light on the business of collecting them, and it is curious to note that even the brilliant glare of the acetylene lamp does not seem to disturb the moths very much, if at all.

The caterpillar is dark greenish brown and rather glossy, with a dusky plate on the first ring upon which are traces of the five dark-edged pale brownish stripes which traverse the body and meet on the last ring; the latter has a black plate. The spiracles are black, and the head is brownish, marked with [ 256 ] darker. The caterpillars hatch in the spring from eggs laid the previous autumn, and may be found until July. They feed at night on the leaves of grasses, especially Nardus and such kinds, growing in parks and open places. The moth is out in August and September, and occurs more or less commonly throughout England and Wales. In Scotland it is found in Ayrshire, and in other localities in the Clyde area; thence eastward to Aberdeen. Kane states that in Ireland it is generally distributed, and in some localities very abundant, as at Clonbrock, and on the Wicklow coast.

The Hedge Rustic (Tholera cespitis).

The sexes of this moth are depicted on Plate 128, Figs. 8♂, 9♀. In habits, and also in the kind of places it frequents, this species has much in common with that last mentioned. It is certainly more local, but its range in the British Isles is somewhat similar to that of the Gothic. The life history also is very like that of the last species, and the caterpillar feeds on the same kinds of grass.

Antler Moth (Cerapteryx (Charæas) graminis).

This moth (Plate 127, Figs. 8♂, 9♀) has the fore wings greyish brown or reddish brown, sometimes tinged with ochreous in the paler forms, or with olive in the darker forms. There is also variation in the markings, and chiefly of the central forked streak which has been likened to the antler of the stag. In most British specimens of the greyish form this is white throughout its length, and it has three branches; the stigmata are whitish, and there is often a whitish bar below the central streak. A number of aberrations have been named, and of these the following seem to be the most important: var. tricuspis, Esp., reddish brown; branched streak, stigmata, and bar ochreous; var. rufa, Tutt = tricuspis, Hübn., as above, but the markings white; var. ruficosta, Tutt = graminis, Hübn., greyish brown, with reddish front margin, and ochreous markings; var. hibernicus, Curt., yellowish brown with the markings ochreous, and the stigmata more or less united with the central streak. In some specimens most of the markings are obscured or absent, and only the reniform stigma and the forked extremity of the central line remain distinct.

Moths of the British Isles Plate128.jpg


Pl. 128.
1. Feathered Ear Moth. 2, 3. Straw Underwing. 4. Silver Cloud.
5, 6. Flounced Rustic. 7. Haworth's Minor. 8, 9. Hedge Rustic.

Moths of the British Isles Plate129.jpg


Pl. 129.
1, 1a. Bright-line Brown Eye: caterpillar and chrysalis.
2. Dot Moth: caterpillar. 3, 3a. Broom Moth: caterpillar and chrysalis.
4. Brindled Green Moth: egg, natural size and enlarged.

[ 257 ] The caterpillar, which is glossy, and the skin much wrinkled, is of a bronzy-brown colour, with black-edged pale lines; there is a brownish plate on the first ring and a blackish one on the last; the spiracles are black and the head is brownish, marked with darker. It feeds from March to June on grasses, and in some years and localities occurs in enormous numbers, denuding considerable areas of grass land. Rooks and other birds devour them readily, and where their feeding places are on hillsides, they are apt to be washed off by heavy rain, so that the drains and ditches become filled up in places by masses of these caterpillars. Even after such wholesale destruction, the moths may still appear in the autumn in countless numbers. The male moths are sometimes seen flying in the sunshine and visiting the flowers of thistles, ragwort, etc. Such flight usually takes place between eight a.m. and noon, but both sexes have been seen flying over grass and heather continuously from just before midday to four p.m. The moths are also on the wing at night, and the male is very susceptible to the attraction of light. The species has occurred in all parts of the British Islands, but its presence in the south of England would appear to be more casual than elsewhere. The range abroad extends through Northern Asia to Siberia.

The Feathered Ear (Pachetra leucophæa).

Stephens, in 1829, figured one of two specimens of this species said to have been taken near Bristol in 1816, a part of England [ 258 ] from which no other specimen has ever been recorded so far as I am aware. In June, 1855, the late Mr. S. Stevens obtained a few specimens at sugar, at Mickleham, Surrey. Between the year last mentioned and 1894 five other specimens have been recorded from the same county, these are Redhill (W. R. Jeffrey), Boxhill (G. Elisha, a pair, and B. A. Bower), Reigate (R. Adkin). In Kent, specimens have been found in the Folkestone and Tunbridge districts, but the chalk downs between Ashford and Wye appear to be the headquarters of the insect in Britain.

A portrait of a male specimen will be found on Plate 128, Fig. 1, but the ground colour is much whiter in the majority of British specimens.

According to Dr. Chapman, the caterpillar varies from a nearly uniform nankeen-yellow with the markings only indicated, to a handsome larva with distinct black stripes. There is a pale dorsal line, quite narrow; thence to the black spiracles is divided into three longitudinal stripes, a dark dorsal, a dark (but less dark) lower one and a pale intermediate. In all these the ground colour is the same, nankeen-yellow, and the darker areas depend on the greater or less darkness of fine black mottlings, generally in fine wavy streaks running more or less longitudinally. The head is rather brown than yellow, mottled in a honey-comb pattern, with some black marking about the mouth parts. It feeds at night from July to March on various grasses, but seems to prefer Poa annua, and P. nemoralis. Dr. Chapman reared some of these caterpillars by keeping each individual in a separate glass jar and supplying it at frequent intervals with a fresh tuft of Poa annua. The moth is out from May to July, and hides during the day among the tufts of grass on chalk hills. It comes freely to sugar, and has been taken at privet blossom.

The Silver Cloud (Xylomania conspicillaris).

Three forms of this species occur with us. In that represented on Plate 128, Fig. 4, the fore wings are almost entirely [ 259 ] blackish. Another has a larger portion of the inner marginal area ochreous brown, or whitish, ab. melaleuca, Vieweg; a third form, and the least frequent, may be described as pale ochreous brown with darker mottling on the basal half, and black central markings representing a broken streak from the base of the wing to the outer margin, in this form the pale outlined stigmata are fairly distinct, and there is a blackish shade between them extending from the front to the inner margin. From chrysalids obtained by digging under oak and elm trees in a private park several miles from Taunton, Somerset, Mr. H. Doidge (1901) reared moths and obtained eggs which were laid in a batch on the covering of the cage in which the female was placed with a growing plant of bird's-foot trefoil. The eggs hatched on May 31, ten days after they were laid. The young caterpillars were purplish grey, but after feeding on the yellow flowers they assumed the same colour. "After finishing the flowers they commenced on the leaves, by which time they were a pale green colour, with a yellow spiracular stripe, and were fond of resting by day on the stems of the plant. As they approached the final stage, the green became shaded with brown and black," and then resembled the ripening seed pods. They were afterwards supplied with blackthorn, and did not object to the change of food. They also ate dock (sparingly), and Trifolium minus. "About July 8 they began to go under ground to pupate. The pupæ, which were of a dark reddish-brown colour, and somewhat obese and blunt, being enclosed in a very compact and brittle earthy cocoon" (Doidge).

The moth is out in April and May, but is very local in England. It has occasionally been found at rest on isolated tree trunks or on posts, but very rarely captured in any other way. Specimens have been obtained from chrysalids dug up now and then from about the roots of trees, but perhaps most of the specimens in collections, not numerous altogether, have been reared from eggs. In England the species is only known [ 260 ] to occur in Kent, Surrey, Suffolk, Gloucester, Somersetshire, Worcestershire, and Herefordshire. Barrett also mentions one specimen at Gower, South Wales.

The Beautiful Arches (Eumichtis (Hadena) satura).

Of this species (Plate 121, Fig. 5) probably less than a dozen specimens have been taken in England, and apparently none in any other part of the British Isles. It is very similar to some of the darker forms of E. adusta, specimens of which have often been mistaken for examples of the present species and recorded as such. The wings are rather more ample; the reniform and orbicular stigmata are reddish, with a blackish cloud under them, and the space between the second and submarginal lines towards the inner margin is also reddish. The hind wings are dark in both sexes. The caterpillar, which is said to feed in July and August on hop, honey-suckle, and cherry, among other plants, is pinkish brown, darker above; the dusky-pink central line on the back is interrupted and indistinct, and on each side of it is a series of oblique greyish but not clearly defined streaks; the line low down on the sides is yellow-green. The moths flies in June, July, and August.

Abroad the species occurs in Central and Northern Europe (except the most northern parts, and perhaps Western France); eastward the range extends to Amurland.

The Dark Brocade (Eumichtis (Hadena) adusta).

The sexes of this moth are figured on Plate 121, Figs. 3♂, 4♀. The ground colour is grey-brown in some examples of this species, whilst in others, especially in the north of England and in Scotland, the colour ranges through rich reddish brown, blackish brown to almost black. In the lighter coloured forms the markings are usually clear and distinct, but in the darker forms are often much obscured. The caterpillar is somewhat variable in colour and markings. Barrett describes one form as pale sage green strongly tinged with ochreous and dusted with greyish brown; the line along the middle of the back is white, interrupted, and edged with greyish brown; a series of outlines of greyish-brown diamonds spread over to the brown margin of the pale ochreous stripe along the whitish spiracles, and form a network on the back and sides. Another form, described by Buckler, has the general colour brilliant yellow, suffused on the upper surface with deep rose pink; a stripe on the middle of the back composed of two darker pink lines, united and forming a spot at the beginning of each segment, and an interrupted yellow stripe on each side. It feeds from July to September on grass and various low plants, including knot-grass, bladder campion (Silene cucubalus); also sweet gale, sallow, etc. The moth flies in June and July, sometimes in May. The species occurs in woods and on heaths and moors, and is generally distributed, and more or less common throughout the British Isles. The range abroad extends to Amurland.

Moths of the British Isles Plate130.jpg


Pl. 130.
1. Slender Brindle: caterpillar. 2, 2a. Clouded Brindle: caterpillar and chrysalis.
3. Lychnis: caterpillar. 4. Clouded Bordered Brindle: caterpillar.

Moths of the British Isles Plate131.jpg


Pl. 131.
1, 2. Large Nutmeg Moth. 3, 4. Confused Moth.
5, 6. Crescent Striped Moth. 7, 8. Dusky Brocade Moth.
[ 261 ]

The Brindled Green (Eumichtis (Hadena) protea).

Green of some shade is often the prevailing colour in the much ornamented moth portrayed on Plate 122, Figs. 11, 12; but in some specimens the general colour is pinkish white. The variegation consists of reddish brown or pinkish, and white clouds and black streaks, chiefly as edging to the pale cross lines, or between the stigmata; these latter are as often obscure as distinct, but sometimes the orbicular is white with a white mark below it extending to the black bar connecting the first and second cross lines.

The caterpillar is green freckled with yellow, with a yellow central line on the back; head brownish. It feeds from March to June, and when it leaves the egg it bores into an oak bud to [ 262 ] feed; later on it spins the young leaves together, and finally it dispenses with a retreat altogether and feeds openly on the leaves. The moth is out in the autumn, rather earlier in Scotland. It is widely distributed in England, and in some seasons and localities very abundant. In Scotland it is found from Roxburgh to Moray, and in the latter county as well as in Perthshire and Argyll it is often plentiful. Single specimens have been recorded from Ireland, and these from Co. Galway and Co. Westmeath.

The Northern Arches (Crymodes exulis).

The specimens of this species shown on Plate 123, Figs. 1, 4, are from Shetland, and more or less of the typical form, but rather more variegated, perhaps, than the actual type. In other specimens from the same locality the yellowish submarginal line is band-like; or the ground colour is browner, and sometimes blackish. These blackish examples approach var. assimilis, Doubleday (Fig. 3), from Perthshire, where it was first met with, at Rannoch, by Weaver, over sixty years ago. Exulis (The Exile) was discovered by Mr. H. McArthur in the Shetlands in 1883. In 1896 Mr. P. M. Bright captured a specimen in the Shetlands which Barrett considered referable to maillardi, Hübn. (Geyer, Fig. 833.) "Its ground colour is drab-brown, abundantly marked with umberous and dusted with black, and its only conspicuous marking is the reniform stigma, which is distinctly edged with white in such a manner as to give it a singular resemblance to Mamestra [Barathra] brassicæ." Staudinger, it may be added, adopts maillardi as the earlier name for this species, and it may have to be generally accepted. The caterpillar is ochreous whitish, shaded with grey, and with yellowish plates on the first and last rings; spiracles black, head reddish brown. It feeds on grasses from August to May, but is sometimes two, or even three, years in completing its [ 263 ] growth. When young, and also later, it eats the lower part of the stem and partly into the root of the grass. The moth is out in July and August. Very few examples of the assimilis form have been obtained, and these only in Perthshire, Aberdeenshire, Inverness, and the Isle of Arran. Mr. W. M. Christy captured one specimen in Ross-shire in August, 1902. The geographical range of this species extends from the Alps and Pyrenees through Norway and Lapland to Iceland, Greenland, and Labrador.

The Minor Shoulder-Knot (Bombycia viminalis).

Figs. 5 and 6 on Plate 125 represent the typical form of this species. Fig. 8 shows the blackish var. obscura, Staud., and Fig. 7 an intermediate form. The pale form is most frequent in southern England, and dark forms are commoner in the north. Both forms occur in Scotland, but in some parts the pale form only is found. The caterpillar is green with three whitish lines on the back; the raised spots are also whitish; the line along the black spiracles is yellowish. It feeds from April to June on sallow and willow; at first on the terminal shoots, the leaves of which are spun together with silk. Later on the caterpillar folds down or rolls a leaf so as to form a shelter. The moth is on the wing in June and July, sometimes later, and is pretty widely distributed throughout the British Isles, but is rather local in Scotland, northern England, and Ireland. The dark form, it may be mentioned, does not seem to be found abroad. The range of the species extends to Amurland.

The Dusky Sallow (Eremobia ochroleuca).

This brownish tinged ochreous moth (Plate 126, Figs. 3, 4) has the fore wings crossed by whitish lines, the first and second of which approach or unite below the middle, dividing into two blotches the dark central band-like shade. [ 264 ]

The caterpillar, which feeds on the seeds of cock's-foot (Dactylis) and other kinds of grass from May to early July, is whitish green and glossy; three whitish stripes on the back, the central one broadest; a stripe below the black spiracles is whitish, edged above with green. Mullein (Verbascum) has also been mentioned as eaten by this caterpillar. The moth is out in July and in August, and may often be seen resting on the flowers of knapweed (Centaurea) in the daytime. It flies at night, and has been taken at the flowers of centaurea, ragwort, etc., and at light. In some districts it is said to visit the sugar patch, but not to do so in other localities. Occurs in the chalk districts of most southern English counties, and especially those of Kent and Sussex; also, but only rarely, in Warwickshire and Yorkshire. One specimen has been recorded from Pembrokeshire in Wales.

The Orache Moth (Trachea atriplicis).

In the past this greenish-mottled brownish moth (Plate 126, Fig. 5) appears to have been commoner, and more widely distributed in England than it now is. Wilkes, in 1773, referring to it as "The Wild Arrach," states that it was taken occasionally near London. At the present time the species seems to occur only in the eastern counties, and chiefly in Cambridgeshire. In June, 1904 and 1905, specimens (three in all) were obtained at sugar in Huntingdonshire. The caterpillar is ochreous or reddish brown, dotted with white; three dark lines on the back, the central one only distinct. A yellowish stripe along the black-edged white spiracles; head light reddish brown, glossy. It feeds in July and August on orach (Atriplex), persicaria, knot-grass, and will also eat dock. The range abroad extends to Amurland, Corea, and Japan.

Note.—It may be mentioned here that Prodenia littoralis, Boisd., an inhabitant of tropical and sub-tropical regions, has [ 265 ] been occasionally reared in this country from caterpillars found in imported tomatoes.

The Saxon (Lithomœa (Hyppa) rectilinea).

The brownish clouding, and reddish-brown central band, of this species (Plate 126, Figs. 6, 7) varies in tone; sometimes the band is olive grey and the clouding rather grey than brown. The caterpillar, according to Buckler, varies from dark brown to chestnut, ochreous, and orange browns; the spiracular stripe pale ochreous or cream colour, shading off in the middle to grey brown. It feeds from July to September, or later, on sallow, bramble, bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi), and will eat knot-grass. It hibernates when full grown, and pupates in the following spring. The moth is out in May, June, or July, and is taken at sugar, chiefly in woods. At one time it was found in Yorkshire, but Cumberland seems to be the only English county in which it now occurs. In Scotland it has been taken in the south. Renton states that near Hawick, Roxburghshire, he finds a few at raspberry blossom every year. It is more plentiful, however, from Perthshire to Sutherland. Kane notes it from Torc Wood, Killarney, near Galway, and Clonbrock; and that the form is identical with that from Aberdeen named semivirgata, Tutt. The range abroad extends to Siberia and Amurland; and the North American, xylinoides, Guen, seems to be a form of the present species.

The Figure of Eight Moth (Diloba cæruleocephala).

The greyish-centred white marks are the chief features on the brownish fore wings of this moth (Plate 127, Figs. 1, 2). The first one, or both when quite apart, is very like the figure 8; sometimes these marks are united, and form an irregular blotch. Rarely the area between the black lines is dark and the marks [ 266 ] obscured or absent. The caterpillar (Plate 133, Fig. 1) is bluish grey, with a number of bristle-bearing black spots and minute black dots; a stripe along the back is yellow and interrupted; a yellow stripe low down along the sides. It feeds, from April to June, on hawthorn, sloe, and wild crab; also on the leaves of apple, plum, and other fruit trees. Sometimes these caterpillars are to be seen on the hedges in numbers, and usually seem to prefer the outer extremities of the longer shoots. The pale purplish brown chrysalis is enclosed in a strong somewhat oval cocoon, which is covered with fragments of litter, and often attached to some object, such as a bit of stick, leaves, etc., on the ground. The moth is out in October and November, but is rarely seen, except occasionally at gas lamps, etc. Generally common in the south and east of England, and widely distributed throughout the rest of the country to Cumberland. It has occurred in a few Clydesdale localities, and has been recorded by Renton as sometimes common in Roxburghshire. Widely distributed in Ireland, but not often plentiful.

The Green Brindled Dot (Valeria oleagina).

Nearly eighty years ago Stephens summed up all that was known of this species in Britain. As there is nothing to add in the way of later records, his remarks may be quoted. "Very rare; specimens have been found in Richmond Park, and one was taken in the pupa state by Mr. Plastead some twenty or thirty years ago in Battersea Fields; others have occurred near Bristol, and Mr. Donovan, I believe, captured one in South Wales; it has also been taken in Scotland. My specimens were from the former locality, and I have been fortunate enough to have had nearly a dozen examples at various periods." Most of the later authors mention only the Welsh specimen, taken at Fishguard in Pembrokeshire, July, 1800. A continental specimen is shown on Plate 127, Fig. 5. [ 267 ]

The Beautiful Gothic (Heliophobus hispidus).

This species (Plate 127, Figs. 6, 7) varies in the brown colour of the fore wings, which is sometimes of a greyish tint; not infrequently the pale cross lines are tinged with brownish, or they may be rather broad, and, the submarginal especially, white and very distinct; the reniform and orbicular marks are sometimes tinged with pink. The caterpillar (Plate 133, Fig. 3) is pale rusty brown, with blackish markings, and three pale lines on the back; head glossy and rather paler than the body, and marked with two blackish lines. It feeds on grasses from September to March. The specimen figured (slightly enlarged) was received from Mr. Walker of Torquay on January 11, 1907. The chrysalis (Fig. 3A) is dull reddish, ring divisions and wing-cases paler and brighter; two hooks on last ring. The moth is out from the latter part of August to early October, and in its haunts, which are cliffs by the sea, it may be found at night sitting on grass stems. It is not known to visit flowers or the sugar patch, but has been taken at light. Although previously taken in the Isle of Portland, the earliest published record was that in the Zoologist for 1849 of a specimen taken on the sandhills at Exmouth, late in September. It still occurs at Portland and at Swanage in Dorset; also in the Isle of Wight and along the Devon coast to Cornwall. The range abroad is restricted, the species only being noted from Southern France, North-east and Southern Spain, Sicily, Palestine, and North-west Africa.

The Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea).

Portraits of this moth will be found on Plate 128, Figs. 5, 6. The ground colour of the fore wings ranges from very pale brown through greyish brown to blackish. In some specimens the markings are very faint, and, excepting the whitish submarginal line, are hardly visible. Usually there is a black or [ 268 ] dark brown bar connecting the first and second cross lines; not infrequently there is a black mark on the inner margin below the bar, and a black mark or two in the cell above. These marks are sometimes supplemented by others, and so form a more or less complete black central band. The reniform and orbicular stigmata are often only outlined in paler brown, but they may be whitish and very distinct. Var. guenéei, Doubleday, is pale ochreous brown, with the first line pale, interrupted, and terminating in a black dot on inner margin; and the second line made up of white-edged black crescents; the reniform distinctly edged with white, and there is a slender black line above the inner margin between the first line and the base of the wing. Hind wings pure white, with black marginal lunules.

The caterpillar is pinkish ochreous; usual dots not in evidence; skin much wrinkled and glossy; spiracles pink margined with black; head and plate on first ring pale brownish yellow. Robson (Cat. Lep. of Durham, etc.) states that the caterpillar feeds on grass roots, and adds, "I have known it abound in the grass tufts at the foot of palings around a large mill." The moth is out in August and September. At night it flies freely to light, but is not known to visit any of the usual floral attractions or the collector's sugar. Generally distributed and often common.

Dumeril's Luperina (Luperina dumerilii).

Fore wings ochreous grey or brown, two brownish streaks represent the basal line; the space between the first and second cross lines darker, and there is a darker band on the outer margin; the stigmata are pale inclining to yellowish, and the veins below them are white. Hind wings whitish tinged with darker on outer margin. Ab. desyllesi, Boisd., has almost unicolorous fore wings, and this form, according to Staudinger, has been found in Northern France and England. I have only seen a continental specimen of this species, which is very local and somewhat rare abroad.

Moths of the British Isles Plate132.jpg


Pl. 132.
1, 2. Rustic Shoulder-knot. 3, 4. Small Clouded Brindle.
5. Double-lobed Moth. 6-11. Common Rustic.
12. Union Rustic. 13. Flame Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate133.jpg


Pl. 133.
1. Figure of Eight: caterpillar.
2. Feathered Ranunculus: caterpillar.
3, 3a. Beautiful Gothic: caterpillar and chrysalis.

[ 269 ] In his Manual, vol. i. (1857), Stainton states, "one specimen has occurred in the Isle of Arran." Reference is made in 1885 (Entom. xviii. 73) to two specimens taken in the Isle of Portland in 1858, and three others in 1859. Then, in the Entomologist for 1902, Mr. Stockwell records, from Dover, the capture of "a fine female of this rare Noctua, on a gas lamp in this town, during the latter part of September."

The Straw Underwing (Cerigo matura.)

This moth, both sexes of which are shown on Plate 128, Figs. 2, 3, is readily recognized by the yellowish hind wings. The caterpillar is ochreous or dull reddish brown; series of greyish brown marks along the middle of the back, and a brown edged line on each side; a pale ochreous line edged above with brown low down along the sides; head pale brown, with darker streaks. It feeds from September to April, sometimes later, on grasses, chiefly in dry situations. The moth is out in July and August. Generally distributed throughout the British Isles, but in Scotland not recorded north of Moray. In suitable localities it is common, and sometimes is the only visitor to the sugar patch.

Haworth's Minor (Celæna haworthii).

In this reddish brown moth (Plate 128, Fig. 7) the reniform and orbicular stigmata are white or broadly outlined in white, and the vein below as well as the branches also white. The wings of the female are smaller than those of the male, and the body is distinctly stouter. The white markings referred to are sometimes obscured or absent, and such specimens are referable [ 270 ] to var. hibernica, Haworth. The caterpillar is purplish brown, with the usual raised dots darker brown; three pale lines along the back, the central one least distinct; head and plates on first and last rings reddish brown; spiracles black. From April to July on cotton grass (Eriophorum vaginatum), feeding in the stems down towards the root. The moth flies in August and September. It was first noted as British in 1819, and Stephens in 1829 mentions it as common in Whittlesea Mere. Although still occurring in the fens, the species is far more common on the moors and mosses of Northern England, Scotland to the Shetlands, and in Ireland.

The Crescent Striped (Hama oblonga (abjecta)).

In its most frequent form this species (Plate 131, Figs. 5, 6) has the fore wings greyish brown and somewhat shining; the markings, especially the cross lines, indistinctly paler; the reniform is outwardly dotted with white. Sometimes the ground colour is paler grey with black markings arranged very similar to such marks in A. gemina, var. remissa (Fig. 8).

The caterpillar is greenish grey, with the raised dots rather greyer; a pinkish line along the back; head and plate on first and last rings shining reddish brown. It feeds on grasses growing in salt marshes, edges of tidal rivers, and ditches of brackish water: in the spring and until June; perhaps from September. The moth is out from June to August, and may be obtained at the flowers of marram grass as well as at sugar. The species is found in most of the eastern and southern seaboard counties of England; at Sandown and Freshwater in the Isle of Wight; in the fens of Huntingdon and Cambridge; also occasionally in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, Lancs, Yorks, and Durham. In Scotland it has been obtained in Moray and in the Shetlands. Local in Ireland. The range abroad extends to Amurland. [ 271 ]

The Large Nutmeg (Hama sordida).

The fore wings of this moth (Plate 131, Figs. 1, 2) are pale ochreous brown, much marbled with darker brown, and sometimes slightly tinged with reddish; the pale stigmata and submarginal line are the most distinct of the usual markings. The caterpillar is said to be very like that of Apamea basilinea. The moth flies in June, and is not uncommon in most parts of Southern England. It occurs in Lancashire and Cheshire, but is more frequent in Yorkshire and Durham; also found in South Wales, and although it has been obtained in the Shetlands, it seems to be very local and infrequent in Scotland. Only twice recorded from Ireland, one specimen on the Dublin coast, 1860, and one at Howth (Kane).

The Confused (Hama furva).

This darker mottled greyish brown moth (Plate 131, Figs. 3, 4) is very similar to the typical form of A. gemina (Fig. 7); the fore wings, however, are distinctly broader at the base, the W-like angles of the submarginal line are less noticeable, and this line is comparatively straighter. The reddish tinge so usual in A. gemina is absent in the present species.

The caterpillar is ochreous tinged with pinkish, except on the first three rings and the under surface; central line dusky; usual dots reddish brown, as also are the head and plates on first and last rings. On grasses, September to June, feeding chiefly on the shoots near the roots (condensed from Buckler). The moth occurs from July to September, and may be obtained at flowers of ragwort, scabious, etc., and freely at sugar, in rocky places from Lancashire northwards through Scotland to the Shetlands. It also occurs in Wales, and suitable places in Gloucester, Somerset, Devon, Cornwall, and has also been recorded from Sussex. In Ireland found on several parts of [ 272 ] the coast, but not plentiful. Abroad the range extends to Amurland.

The Dusky Brocade (Apamea obscura (gemina)).

In its ordinary form the moth shown on Plate 131 is purplish brown, as in Fig. 7, sometimes mottled with greyish or pale ochreous. A more ornamented form is known as var. remissa (Fig. 8), and the ground colour of this is not infrequently pale ochreous brown, or almost whitish, with the black marking very conspicuous. The caterpillar is brownish grey, finely striated with darker; a yellowish white line along the middle of the back, and a brownish ochreous stripe on each side of it; stripe along the black edged spiracles greyish ochreous. It feeds from autumn till March on grasses in moist situations. The moth is perhaps most abundant in the south, but it occurs, in June and July, pretty well all over the British Isles; and abroad its range extends to Amurland and Japan.

The Rustic Shoulder Knot (Apamea basilinea).

The species shown on Plate 132, Figs. 1♂, 2♀, is found almost everywhere in the British Isles, is generally common, and in many parts abundant. Usually the pale brown fore wings are clouded or suffused with reddish, but this tint may be absent, or the wings may be tinged with greyish: the single black dash from middle of the base is the "Shoulder Knot." The caterpillar, according to Barrett, is pale olive brown varying to grey brown; a greyish white line along the middle of the back edged with short undulating black lines; spiracular line a row of blackish dashes, clouded with olive brown, or edged with greyish white and looped with grey brown; head black, plate on first ring black and white striped. It feeds from August to March on grasses, etc. The moth flies in May and June. [ 273 ]

The Small Clouded Brindle (Apamea unanimis).

The fore wings are generally reddish brown mottled with darker, but the reddish tinge may be almost absent; the reniform is more or less outlined in white and there are two black streaks from the base. (Plate 132, Figs. 3♂, 4♀.) The caterpillar is pale ochreous brown, sometimes tinged with greenish; three dark edged pale lines on the back; spiracular line pale edged above with darker; head, and plate on first ring, brown and glossy. On grasses that occur in damp places, such as water meads, marshes and fens from July to April. The moth flies in June and July. It is widely distributed, and sometimes common in most moist localities throughout England. More local in Scotland but occurring in Aberdeenshire, and on the western side ranging to the Orkneys. Not frequent in Ireland, but has been obtained in several parts. The distribution abroad extends to Amurland.

The Union Rustic (Apamea pabulatricula).

The very distinctly marked, and sometimes brownish tinged, greyish white moth shown on Plate 132, Fig. 12, is very local in the British Isles, and apart from its reported occurrence in the Clyde and Tay districts of Scotland, seems to be found only in some of the woods of South Yorkshire, as near Rotherham, Sheffield (Wharncliffe Woods), and Barnsley. It has been obtained in Cumberland; and Barrett states that formerly it occurred in Norfolk. The caterpillar, which is little known, is said to feed on grasses in May. The moth flies in August and early September. It is also known as connexa, Bork. [ 274 ]

The Common Rustic (Apamea secalis).

Following Guenée, British entomologists at one time knew this species as oculea; afterwards it became the habit to label it didyma, a name given to it by Esper in 1788. Just now the authorities insist on secalis, Linnæus, being adopted. The species is an exceedingly variable one, and six examples of it are shown on Plate 132, Figs. 6 to 11. The form with blackish fore wings and a white reniform mark is var. leucostigma, Esp. Nictitans, Esp., has brownish fore wings and a white reniform. I-niger, Haw., is greyish or grey brown with darker central band, and the cross lines united by a black bar. Ochreous or reddish ochreous specimens with the front marginal area broadly and irregularly reddish brown, and the outer margin bordered with reddish brown, are referable to var. furca, Haw. Many other forms have been named. The caterpillar is green with three reddish lines on the back; head and plate on the first ring pale brown, also plate on last ring. In stems of grasses such as Festuca, Dactylis, etc., also on wood-rush. From Autumn to April or May. The moth flies in July and August, and is common everywhere in the British Isles; its range abroad extends to Western China.

The Double Lobed (Apamea ophiogramma).

This species (Plate 132, Fig. 5) is usually found in marshy localities, or in gardens, over the eastern counties, and from Northamptonshire through Bucks, and Hertfordshire, to Kent, and Surrey. The caterpillar feeds from September on the shoots of Phalaris arundinacea and the cultivated form of that plant grown in gardens, and known as ribbon grass. Also said to feed on Poa aquatica. When the grass dies down in the late autumn the caterpillar enters the ground to hibernate, and [ 275 ] emerges in the spring ready to attack the young grass shoots as soon as they appear. Where the new growth of ribbon grass assumes a brown and withered appearance this larva will probably be found at the bottom of the trouble. When nearly full grown it eats down the interior of the thicker stems to the base. In colour it is ochreous with a pinkish tinge; a pale brownish plate on first and last rings, each edged with blackish and that on the first ring traversed by a white line; head pale brown, glossy. The moth flies in July and August, sometimes in June.

The Marbled Minor (Miana strigilis).

Half a dozen specimens are shown on Plate 134, and these will serve to give some idea of the range of aberration in this species. The most typical of the species are those represented by Figs. 1 and 4; the farthest removed from the type is var. æthiops, Haworth (Fig. 16). In the reddish var. latruncula, Hübn., as figured by him, the most conspicuous character is the white lower curve of the second cross line, as in Fig. 7.

The caterpillar is purplish brown above, and ochreous below; striped on the back with pale yellow, and less distinctly on the sides; spiracles black and very distinct; head and plates on the first and last rings of the body ochreous brown and shining. Found in March and April, after hibernation, feeding on the stems of various grasses. The moth is out in June and July, and may frequently be seen at rest on palings, etc., but at night it often abounds at sugar or honey dew. Generally distributed in the British Isles, except perhaps in the islands of Scotland.

The Middle-barred Minor (Miana fasciuncula).

In its typical form this species (Plate 134, Fig. 3) has the fore wings reddish ochreous, with a darker central band, and [ 276 ] the cross lines, especially the second, distinctly white towards the inner margin. Sometimes, chiefly in Scotland, the ground colour is much paler, occasionally almost whitish, and the band reddish (var. cana, Staud., Figs. 5, 8). There is a good deal of variation, both in the ground colour and in that of the band; the latter is often smoky brown in pale specimens of both sexes.

The caterpillar is of a pale flesh tint, rather inclining to greyish ochreous, the dorsal stripe of a darker tint of the same colour well defined on each side by the pale ground colour; next a very broad stripe of pinkish brown, followed by a narrow stripe of the ground colour, faintly edged below with pinkish brown; above the black spiracles is a stripe of pinkish brown freckles; head and plates on first and last rings of the body light brown, shining (Buckler). In the shoots of grasses such as Aira cespitosa, in April and early May, probably after hibernation. The moth is out in May and June, and its haunts are moist woods and marshy grounds, generally. The species is widely distributed, and often common, throughout the British Isles. Abroad it seems to have a very limited range.

The Rosy Minor (Miana literosa).

The ground colour is pale, or dark, violet grey, more or less clouded inwards from the submarginal line, and on the basal area, with purplish; a central reddish or reddish brown band is limited inwardly by the, sometimes, whitish edged black first line, and outwardly by an almost straight black line passing between the stigmata to the inner margin. (Plate 134, Figs. 11, 14.)

The caterpillar is dingy ochreous yellow, with a dark purplish stripe, enclosing a central line of the ground colour, on the back; spiracles black; head dark brown, plates pale brown (Porritt). From September to June, in stems of Carex glauca, Dactylis glomerata, and other grasses. The moth flies in July and August, and although rare inland is pretty generally distributed around the coasts of the British Isles; apparently, from the Clyde area, confined to the east coast of Scotland, and not extending north of Moray.

Moths of the British Isles Plate134.jpg


Pl. 134.
1, 4, 7, 10, 13, 16. Marbled Minor Moth. 2, 5, 8. Middle-barred Minor.
11, 14. Rosy Minor. 3, 6, 9, 12, 15. Cloaked Minor.
17, 18. Least Minor. 19-21. Small Dotted Buff.

Moths of the British Isles Plate135.jpg


Pl. 135.
1, 2. Clouded-bordered Brindle. 3. Light Arches.
4, 5. Clouded Brindle. 6. Reddish Light Arches.
7, 8. Slender Brindle.
[ 277 ]

The Cloaked Minor (Miana bicoloria).

This is another variable species of the genus, and five specimens of it are shown on Plate 134. The typical form (Fig. 3) has the fore wings more or less brownish on the basal area, and whitish bordered with brownish on the outer area. Very frequently these wings are pale, or dark, brown marbled with darker brown, and with the stigmata and cross lines distinct, faint, or absent. Fig. 15 represents a form from Ireland, which is uniformly pale ochreous brown, sometimes reddish tinged. The caterpillar is yellowish ochreous, tinged with pink; three dull reddish interrupted bands, each intersected by a line of the ground colour; head reddish brown; plates on first and last rings of the body pale reddish brown (Buckler). In stems of grasses, such as Festuca and Aira—April and May; probably after hibernation. The moth flies in August and September, sometimes earlier. At dusk it is often common in rough fields and grassy places near the sea. Although found in some inland localities, it is more especially a coast species, and as such is widely distributed over the British Isles to the Orkneys.

The Least Minor (Phothedes captiuncula).

The pretty little moth shown on Plate 134, Figs. 17, 18, has the fore wings brownish ochreous, tinged with reddish brown, and with a darker central band and hind margin. Sometimes the whole basal area up to the white second line [ 278 ] is reddish brown; and in a form from Ireland named tincta, Kane, the coloration is somewhat similar to that of M. literosa. This species was first discovered in Britain by Messrs. Law and Sang, in a locality near Darlington, Durham, in 1854. It is now obtained in several places in that county, and in Northumberland. Also found in North Lancashire, Westmoreland, and once in Yorkshire. It occurs commonly in Co. Galway and Clare, Ireland, and has once been taken in Killarney. There is also a record from Perthshire in Scotland.

The caterpillar is dull ochreous, with a reddish tinge inclining to purplish on rings two to seven; head reddish brown; plates on first and last rings yellow brown, the former edged in front with darker brown; spiracles black, three yellow spots on sides of rings two and three (Buckler). On Carex glauca and other sedges, eating down the stems close to the roots. Will also eat ribbon grass—August to June. The moth flies, often in the early afternoon, from late June to August. It seems partial to rough fields, and hillsides, chiefly on the coast.

The Clouded-bordered Brindle (Xylophasia rurea).

Of this common, generally distributed, and often abundant species, portraits of the typical form (Fig. 1), and of var. alopecurus, Esp. (Fig. 2), will be found on Plate 135. The ground colour varies from the normal greyish white to a silvery white (var. argentea, Tutt), and through yellowish shades to a reddish ochreous; the markings in all these colour aberrations are more or less typical. In the var. alopecurus, Esp., there are also gradations; thus combusta, Haworth, is dark greyish brown; and a blackish brown, red tinged form is nigro-rubidea, Tutt. The caterpillar (Plate 130, Fig. 4) is variable in colour, one form is ochreous grey with three lines on the back, the central one white shaded on each side with grey; usual dots and spiracles are black; head blackish and shining. From [ 279 ] August to May on grasses. The range abroad extends to Amurland.

The Light Arches (Xylophasia lithoxylea).

In this whitish ochreous species (Plate 135, Fig. 3) there is little variation except that the darker clouding is more pronounced in some specimens than in others. The caterpillar is brownish grey, tinged with ochreous or with greenish; usual dots blackish, as also are the head and the plates on first and last rings of the body. October to May, feeding on stems of grasses, near the roots. The moth is out in June and July, and is often seen on fences, etc., in the daytime. Generally distributed, and common in most places throughout the British Isles. In Scotland, however, it does not range north of Moray, and only on the eastern side.

The Reddish Light Arches (Xylophasia sublustris).

Except that the fore wings are somewhat reddish tinged, and not so long, this species (Plate 135, Fig. 6) is very similar to the last. The caterpillar is also very like that of the Light Arches, but has more red in its coloration. The moth is out in June and July, and affects limestone and chalk localities, and these chiefly on the coast. In Berkshire and adjoining counties it occurs in beech woods. Specimens have been recorded from Kendal in Westmoreland, but Yorkshire has been considered the northern limit of the species in England. It has been recorded occasionally from the fens. Paisley and Bonhill are given as Scottish localities in the Fauna of the Clyde Area (1901). Widely distributed in Ireland but most abundant in the province of Connaught.

Xylophasia zollikoferi. The home of this species would seem to be in parts of Hungary, Russia and Western Asia, whence it very occasionally finds its way across the continent [ 280 ] to England. Its British history is as follows:—a specimen taken at Deal, by Mr. Harding, October, 1867; one at Inverurie in Scotland, by Mr. Tait, September, 1871; and one at sugar by Mr. T. A. Lofthouse at Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, September 26, 1903. Also recorded from Norwich, September, 1905, and from Methley, Yorks, August, 1910. (Plate 153, Fig. 6.)

The Dark Arches (Xylophasia monoglypha).

The five portraits of this moth on Plate 136 will give some idea of the various forms it assumes. The blackish specimen is referable to var. infuscata, White, and an extreme aberration of this form has been named æthiops, Tutt. The caterpillar is greyish, inclining to brownish or reddish; usual dots blackish; head and plate on first ring of body dark brownish, and shining. August to September, feeding on grasses and devouring the stems near the base. The moth is out from June to August, sometimes in October and November. It occurs in all parts of the British Isles and is often abundant.

The Clouded Brindle (Xylophasia hepatica).

The most frequent form of this species (Plate 135) has the fore wings pale brown, with well-defined black markings, but without distinct cross lines. When the wings are more clouded and suffused with reddish or purplish brown the paler ground colour shows up as cross lines, and these are more or less edged with blackish (var. characterea, Hübner). The caterpillar (Plate 130, Fig. 2) is dingy brown with shining black dots; three pale ochreous lines along the back, the central one most distinct; head black and shining; plate on first ring of the body black crossed by white lines, another on the last ring is blackish. Feeds from August to April on grasses, but will also eat various low plants. The chrysalis (Fig. 2A) which [ 281 ] is enclosed in a tender earthen cocoon, is reddish, blackish between the rings, and the last ring, which is blunt at apex, is furnished with four hooks. The moth is out in June and July. A common species in the eastern and southern counties of England, but less frequent or rare in the Midlands and northwards to Roxburgh in Scotland. Local and not numerous in Ireland. Range abroad extends to Amurland.

The Slender Brindle (Xylophasia scolopacina).

This is another species with reddish brown clouded, pale ochreous brown fore wings. The ground colour may be whiter or redder than in the specimens shown on Plate 135, Figs. 7, 8. The caterpillar (Plate 130, Fig. 1) is dusky green above and whitish green beneath, the green shading into blackish along the sides; a fine whitish line along the middle of the back; usual dots black; head honey-brown and glossy, the jaws and a spot on each cheek black. It feeds on the juicy lower part of the stems of grasses, such as Triticum, but will also eat the leaves. In the spring, and till June, probably after hibernation. The moth is out in July and August, and as an uncommon event may be seen at rest on a tree trunk or paling. Stephens (1829) refers to its occurrence in the London district, and it still appears in woods around Highgate. It seems to be most plentiful in the woods of South Yorkshire, and in the Sherwood district of Nottinghamshire; but it has been found more or less frequently in several of the southern counties of England, and also in some northern ones. Its range abroad extends to Amurland and Japan.

The Bird's Wing (Dipterygia scabriuscula).

The curious wing-like marks on the blackish fore wings of this moth (Plate 137, Figs. 1♂, 2♀) are its chief features. The [ 282 ] stigmata are outlined in black, but are rarely paler than the ground colour. The caterpillar is reddish brown with yellow and black dots; three lines along the back, the central one white with a black edging, and the others blackish; head brown and glossy, marked with black; a blackish plate on first ring is also glossy, and is followed by a black mark on the next ring, both streaked with white. It feeds on dock, sorrel, and plants of the genus Polygonum, in July and August. The moth flies in late May and June, sometimes as a second generation in August or September. It occurs more or less commonly in most southern and eastern counties from Oxfordshire. In other parts of England, and in Scotland, it seems to be local or absent.

The Purple Cloud (Cloantha polyodon).

This moth is figured on Plate 137, Fig. 7. The first recorded British specimen was taken at Yarmouth, in June, 1839. In 1855 a specimen, found in a spider's web at Ashford, Hampshire, was exhibited at a meeting, held in May, of the Entomological Society of London. Two specimens were taken in 1892; one at Folkestone, Kent, at sugar, and the other outside Norwich, in Norfolk, at a gas lamp. In the Entomologist for 1894, there is a record of a specimen captured at sugar, July, 1891, at Clonbrock, Co. Galway, Ireland. The species has a wide range abroad, extending eastward to Amurland and Japan.

The Deep-brown Dart (Aporophyla lutulenta).

In the south of England the species (Plate 137, Figs. 9, 10) is generally of a dark brown coloration on the fore wings, and the markings are often indistinct; but blackish forms also occur, although the latter are more frequent northwards, and in Scotland and Ireland are the prevailing form of the species. In black or blackish specimens, usually referred to luneburgensis, [ 283 ] Freyer, the hind wings in the male, have the veins more or less blackish and dotted with black beyond the middle; var. sedi, Guenée, has the fore wings pale greyish with the markings distinct, and the central area blackish.

The caterpillar is green, sometimes tinged with pink on the first three rings; three brownish broken lines along the back, and a violet edged white line along the spiracles. It feeds on grasses, yarrow, groundsel, dock, plantain, gromwell (Lithospermum), and other low herbage; also on buds of hawthorn and sloe in the spring. October to April. The moth is out in August and September, sometimes later. It is found most frequently on the coast, perhaps, but occurs in Cambridgeshire, Hunts, Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Berks, Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hants, and Isle of Wight; from Somerset to Cornwall; North and South Wales, Cheshire, Lancashire, and Yorkshire, and apparently in all counties northward except Westmoreland. Widely distributed in Scotland from the border to the Hebrides and Orkneys. It is found only on the coast in Ireland, and chiefly in the north-west.

The Black Rustic (Aporophyla nigra).

This black or brownish black moth (Plate 137, Fig. 8) has the outer edge of the reniform stigma ochreous, and the cross lines are sometimes dotted with the same colour. The caterpillar is green, yellowish-brown, or dull purplish; first three rings often tinged with reddish; three darker, often broken, lines along the back; line along the black-edged white spiracles yellowish. It feeds on bedstraw (Galium mollugo), dock, plantain, grasses, etc. October to May. (The egg is figured on Plate 139, Fig. 3.) The moth is out in September and October. Chiefly a northern species, but it occurs in some of the southern counties. It is, however, most frequent in Northampton, Huntingdon, and Cambridgeshire; in Gloucestershire, [ 284 ] and Wales, and in the Isle of Man, Cumberland, and Westmoreland. In Lincolnshire, Yorkshire, and Lancashire it seems to be local or rare. It is found up to Moray in Scotland, and is sometimes plentiful in Aberdeenshire, Inverness, and Moray. Very local in Ireland, but Kane says that it is found in the extreme north, south, east, and west.

The Feathered Brindle (Aporophyla australis).

The fore wings are pale grey, sometimes darker clouded, chiefly on the costa; the black cross lines, slender, wavy, but not always distinct; a short black bar from middle of the base and one below it on the inner margin; often two other bars, pretty much in a line with the basal ones, on the central area; a row of black wedges on the outer area, near margin. Hind wings white in the male, pale brownish grey in the female. Most of our specimens, perhaps all, are referable to var. pascuea, Curtis. The caterpillar is yellowish green tinged with reddish above; a pale reddish line along the middle of the back has black V-shaped marks upon it, and there is a series of black marks on each side; the line along the spiracles yellowish; head green, brown freckled. Feeds, from October to April, on grasses, catchfly (Silene maritima), etc. The moth, which is figured on Plate 137, Figs. 3, 4, is out from late August to October.

This is a local species in England and occurs on the south coast; in Kent, on the sand hills at Deal; in Sussex, on the downs at Brighton and Lewes; also on downs on the Isle of Wight. Farther west it is found at Portland in Dorset, and Torquay in Devon; thence along the Devon and Cornish coasts. In Ireland it is obtained, according to Kane, on the coast of Wicklow and Waterford, and is not scarce on the sand hills of Wexford Harbour.

Moths of the British Isles Plate136.jpg


Pl. 136.
Dark Arches Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate137.jpg


Pl. 137.
1, 2. Bird's Wing Moth. 3, 4. Feathered Brindle.
5, 6. Feathered Ranunculus. 7. Purple Cloud.
8. Black Rustic. 9, 10. Deep-brown Dart.

[ 285 ]

The Feathered Ranunculus (Epunda lichenea).

This is a maritime species and is chiefly found in the Isle of Wight, the Isle of Portland, and along the coasts of Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Gloucester, and on the opposite Welsh coast. It is locally common in Cheshire and Lancashire, and occurs on the coast of North Wales, in Flint and Carnarvon. In Yorkshire it is not uncommon at Scarborough. Has been recorded from the Lincolnshire coast and from Eastbourne. There are two records from Scotland—Renfrew and Ayr. In Ireland it is common at Howth, and abundant at Rossbeigh, Co. Kerry. This species, and the last two, have a rather limited range abroad. On Plate 137 are portraits of two local forms, Fig. 5 is from Portland, and Fig. 6 from Plymouth. It will be noted that the former is greyish in tone whilst the latter is greenish and rather larger. Similar local variation occurs throughout the range of the species.

The caterpillar (Plate 133, Fig. 2) is olive green inclining to brownish above; along the back are darker markings forming a central stripe and a paler interrupted stripe on each side; a pale stripe along the spiracles. It feeds from autumn to May on various low plants. The moth flies from late August to early October. The first British specimen is said to have been taken in the New Forest in 1847; but in 1850 about a hundred were captured at New Brighton in Cheshire.

The Brindled Ochre (Dasypolia templi).

The dull ochreous-brown moth shown on Plate 138, Fig. 1, has hardly any well-defined markings, but the cross lines are generally darker, and the reniform and orbicular paler. The caterpillar, which feeds in the stems of cow-parsnip (Heracleum sphondylium) from April to August, is pinkish ochreous with a rather darker stripe on the back; raised spots brown; head [ 286 ] reddish brown. The moth flies in the autumn, and, after hibernation, in the spring. It frequents rocky places on the coast and on hills. Its range in England is pretty much as in the last species, but it does not seem to occur on the south-east coast. In Scotland it is widely spread over the country to the Orkneys, and has been found in the most northern isle of the Shetlands, but it is generally uncommon. It has been taken near Dublin in Ireland, and less frequently in Antrim and Donegal.

The Large Ranunculus (Polia flavicincta).

The fore wings of this moth (Plate 138, Figs. 6 and 7), are pale grey, clouded, and marked with darker; yellowish freckles at the base, and on the central area and the submarginal line are usually, but not always, present. Sometimes, chiefly in northern specimens, these wings are much suffused with darker grey, approaching blackish. The caterpillar is green with a yellowish or bluish tinge; a dusky line along the back, and a dark green line along the black-edged white spiracles. It feeds on dock, groundsel, plantain, and many other plants from April to July. The moth flies in September and October, and, except in Kent, and perhaps Sussex, is rather uncommon in the southern counties of England. It occurs, however, not infrequently in the eastern counties, and through Oxford, Berks, Gloucester, Somerset to Cornwall, and northward through Hereford and parts of the Midlands to Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Durham.

The Grey Chi (Polia chi).

Four specimens are depicted on Plate 138. Figs. 2 and 3 represent the sexes of the type form, and Figs. 4 and 5, the greenish-grey var. olivacea, Stephens. Both forms may be paler or darker, but the green tinge is apt to fade out. Var. suffusa, Tutt, is a dark greyish suffused form. [ 287 ]

The caterpillar is green, inclining to bluish green above; the lines on the back are whitish, edged with dark green; that along the black-margined white spiracles is white, shaded above with dark green. It feeds on dock, dandelion, groundsel, etc.; also on sallow and hawthorn, from April to June. The moth is out in August and September. It prefers the open country to woodlands, and is often seen resting on rocks, stone, or other walls, and buildings. Except that it occurs in Devon and Dorset, the species seems to be absent in the south of England, but its area of distribution extends in the British Isles from the Midlands of England to Moray and Ross in Scotland, and to Ireland.

The Black-banded (Polia xanthomista).

The form of this species occurring in Britain is var. nigrocincta, Tr. (Plate 140, Figs. 2, 3), which is pale grey, spotted with white, and clouded on the central area with black. The typical yellow flecking and dotting is in this form usually sparse, but occasionally it is prominent. A specimen reared from a caterpillar taken in the Isle of Man was suffused on the fore wings with bright orange.

The caterpillar is ochreous brown, varying in tint, above and pale green below the brown spiracles; the head is rather yellowish and very glossy. It feeds on sea thrift (flowers), and plantain in its haunts, which are the rocky coasts of Cornwall, North Devon, and the Isle of Man. In confinement it will eat groundsel, dock, dandelion, lettuce, etc. Usually the caterpillars do not hatch out until the spring, and then feed until June or July; but they have been known to hatch in the autumn, and then to hibernate. The moth flies in August and September, but, although it has been taken at sugar and light, is more frequently reared from caterpillars, which are readily found at night by those who may undertake the sometimes [ 288 ] hazardous business of collecting them. The earliest known British specimen was taken at a lighthouse near Padstow in Cornwall, and five years later the moth was bred from a caterpillar found in the Isle of Man. In 1880 a specimen was taken at sugar in the middle of a small wood in South Pembrokeshire. According to Hampson this, and the other two species usually included in Polia, are referable to Antitype, Hübn. On the same authority nigrocincta, Treit., is the earlier name for the present species, as the figure of xanthomista, Hübn., was not published until 1827.

The Sprawler (Brachionycha (Asteroscopus) sphinx).

The black streaked and dotted, pale brownish grey moth (Plate 138, Fig. 8) occurs, more or less locally, in most of the English counties from Norfolk, Huntingdon, and Oxford, southwards; and from Gloucester northwards through Hereford and Worcester, to Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire, to Darlington in Durham, and Cumberland. It is, however, rare in the northern counties. The caterpillar is yellowish green; three whitish lines on the back, the central one broadly edged with green on both sides, and the others inwardly by a dark line; the front ring is edged with whitish, and the head is greenish. It feeds on the foliage of various trees, including oak, beech, elm, ash, sallow, lime in May and June. The moth flies in November and December.

The Rannoch Sprawler (Brachionycha (Asteroscopus) nubeculosa).

The first British specimen was taken at Rannoch in the spring of 1854, and in that Perthshire locality the species is still to be found, sitting on the trunks of the birch trees in late March and in April. It has frequently been reared from the egg, but the caterpillars must be sleeved out on growing birch, or the mortality among them may be high. Even if they attain the chrysalis stage, the moth may not appear the following spring, as it has a habit of remaining in its shell for two winters, and sometimes more. (Plate 140, Figs. 1♂, 4♀.)

Moths of the British Isles Plate138.jpg


Pl. 138.
1. Brindled Ochre Moth. 2, 3. Grey Chi Moth.
4, 5. Grey Chi Moth, var. olivaceæ. 6, 7. Large Ranunculus.
8. Sprawler.

Moths of the British Isles Plate139.jpg


Pl. 139.
1, 1a. Black-banded Moth: eggs, natural size and enlarged.
2, 2a. Gothic Moth: caterpillar and chrysalis.
3, 3a. Black Rustic: eggs, natural size and enlarged.

[ 289 ] The caterpillar is yellowish green, whiter on the back; the third ring is obliquely marked with yellow on each side; the eleventh ring is slightly raised and marked yellow, and there is an oblique yellow mark above the claspers; spiracles white edged with black, and the usual dots are pale yellow. It feeds on birch. May and June.

The Green-brindled Crescent (Miselia oxyacanthæ).

This moth, which in its typical form was known to the ancient fathers of entomology as "Ealing's Glory," is shown on Plate 141, Fig. 2. The var. capucina, Mill (Fig. 3), a purely British production by the way, has the fore wings dark sooty brown, inclining to blackish. The caterpillar, which has a white-marked and divided hump on ring eleven, is reddish or greyish brown, with dark grey and greenish mottling; the back has three darker lines along it, and there is a sort of diamond pattern in greyish between the outer ones; rings three and ten striped with black; head reddish brown. It feeds in April and May on hawthorn, sloe, crab, and apple. Widely distributed throughout the British Isles, but apparently not found north of Moray in Scotland.

The Double-spot Brocade (Miselia bimaculosa).

Stephens, referring to this species in 1829, states that he had only seen one British specimen. This was in the British Museum, "to which it was presented by Dr. Leach; it was captured near Bristol, I believe, in July, 1815." Barrett notes [ 290 ] a specimen, said to have been taken by Peter Bouchard, in the collection of the late Dr. Mason. This is all that there seems to be known concerning this species in Britain. The specimen figured on Plate 141, Fig. 4, is continental.

The Merveille du Jour (Agriopis aprilina).

The pretty green moth, with white-edged black markings, shown on Plate 141, Fig. 1, is widely distributed over the greater part of the British Isles. It occurs in oak woods, or in localities where oak trees are plentiful. The caterpillar is of an obscure greenish-grey coloration, sometimes inclining to brownish; a white line along the back, and a dark one low down on the sides; over the back spreads a series of blackish marks showing a more or less diamond pattern. It feeds in the spring and until June on oak leaves, and often rests by day on the trunks, in the chinks of the bark. The moth flies in September and October, rather earlier in Scotland.

Flame Brocade (Rhizotype (Trigonophora) flammea).

The earliest record of this species (Plate 141, Fig. 6) in England dates back to 1855, when five specimens were obtained at sugar in a locality near Brighton, in Sussex. The next year, and subsequently, it was found, not only in the original place, but also in the Lewes and Shoreham districts. Later it was met with in other localities in the county, and for several years captures were made in most of its known haunts. For some years past, however, it seems to have disappeared from Sussex, and is not known to occur in any other part of the British Isles.

The caterpillar is ochreous brown, tinged with reddish; a dull brownish diamond pattern, and three lines along the back, the central line paler than the others; the spiracles and usual dots are white, ringed with brownish. Another form is green, as also are both forms in the younger stages. It feeds from December to April on pilewort (Ranunculus ficaria), R. repens, and other kinds of buttercup. When full grown it is said to prefer ash or privet. The moth flies in late September and October.

Moths of the British Isles Plate140.jpg


Pl. 140.
1, 4. Rannoch Sprawler.
2, 3. Black-banded Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate141.jpg


Pl. 141.
1. Merveille-du-Jour Moth. 2, 3. Green-brindled Crescent.
4. Double-spot Brocade. 5. Small Angle Shades.
6. Flame Brocade. 7. Angle Shades.
[ 291 ]

The Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara).

The pale reniform mark on the outer edge of the blackish central area is the prominent feature of this pinkish- or purplish-brown moth. (Plate 141, Fig. 5.) The caterpillar is green, or pinkish-brown, and velvety in appearance; three indistinct lines and some dusky V-shaped marks on the back; a white line along the sides; usual dots white, and the spiracles black. It feeds in August and September on most low plants, birch, sallow, bracken, etc. It is often destructive to ferns in the garden or conservatory; usually selecting the choicer kinds, and as its depredations are carried on only at night, the culprit escapes detection. The moth flies in June and July, and a few specimens sometimes appear in the autumn. Generally distributed and often common in the South. The range abroad extends to Amurland, Japan, and North America.

The Angle Shades (Phlogophora meticulosa).

The moth shown on Plate 141, Fig. 7, is, when newly emerged from the chrysalis, an exceedingly pretty creature. After death the pinky-brown colour remains, but the olive green of the triangular central band, and border of outer margin, fades and distinctly mars the pleasing effect of the general colour scheme. Sometimes the central band and outer border are red, and in such specimens the ground colour is more rosy. The caterpillar is green or brown, minutely dotted with white; a pale central line and dusky V-shaped marks on each side of it; the outer arm of the V more distinct than the inner; the line along the dark [ 292 ] ringed spiracles whitish; head green or brown freckled with darker. It feeds on groundsel, dock, bracken, and almost anything in the way of an herbaceous plant; often attacks geraniums in the greenhouse as well as outdoors. Has been found in almost every month of the year, but perhaps most common in July, August, and September. The moth also occurs at all seasons of the year, but seems to be most frequent in May and June, and sometimes in September and October. It is found throughout the British Isles. Both this species and the last mentioned, when resting on herbage, paling, or tree stem, chiefly the former, sit with the wings folded in to the body, but each fore wing is broadly wrinkled or folded throughout its length. In this position the moth is very like a crumpled decaying leaf, and for such may be readily mistaken.

The Old Lady (Mania (Mormo) maura).

From its habit of creeping behind curtains, shutters, etc., and otherwise disposing itself in dwelling-houses during the day, as well as in summer houses and other buildings, this moth (Plate 142, Figs. 1♂, 3♀) must often come under observation. The caterpillar is ochreous brown with a darker diamond pattern on the back; the central line is ochreous, but much broken, and on each side of it there is a series of pale oblique streaks; the spiracles are reddish ochreous, edged with black, and the line along them is ochreous; head pale brown, glossy. The general colour varies to greyish or purplish brown. It feeds on various low herbage in the autumn, and on the young shoots and leaves of sallow, hawthorn, birch, etc., in the spring after hibernation. The moth flies in July and August, and is generally common in the south of England. Sometimes it abounds even in the London suburbs, and in 1904 it was seen pretty frequently during August flying, in the evening, low down along the roads and in gardens all over the southern district. The species is also [ 293 ] found more or less frequently throughout England northwards, and well into Scotland, as least as far as Clydesdale. Renton records it as common at sugar in Roxburghshire, and White gives the Forth and Tay districts. Widely distributed in Ireland, common in some parts.

The Gothic (Nænia typica).

This moth (Plate 142, Fig. 2) is common in gardens, as well as along the weedy wayside and hedgerow in all parts of England and Wales, Scotland to Sutherland, and in Ireland. The caterpillar (Plate 139, Fig. 2) varies in colour from brownish-grey to pale ochreous brown, or greenish grey, freckled with darker; three pale lines on the first ring, and partly on the second; some pale oblique streaks on the sides, and blackish marks on rings ten and eleven, the latter more or less united behind; head of the body colour darker marked. It feeds on all kinds of herbage, also on the leaves of sallow, sloe, apple, etc. When young in large companies on the underside of leaves. August to May. The moth flies in June and July.

The Crescent (Helotropha leucostigma).

Of this purplish-brown species the typical form (Fig. 1), and the pale banded form, var. fibrosa, Hübn., are shown on Plate 143. The caterpillar, according to Buckler, is slaty brown, inclining to olive drab above; three paler lines on the back; the spiracles are black and the usual dots black-brown; head warm brown, very glossy; plate on first ring glossy black, that on the last ring blackish brown. It feeds in the stems of Cladium mariscus, sedge (Carex paludosa), and yellow flag (Iris pseudacorus). May to July. The moth is out in late June, July, and August. It inhabits fens and marshy ground, and seems to be found in such localities throughout the British Isles, including the [ 294 ] Hebrides and Shetlands. Abroad the range extends to Amurland, China, Japan, also North America.

The Ear Moth (Hydrœcia (Gortyna) nictitans).

On Plate 143 are shown a more or less typical specimen of this species (Fig. 3); the reddish spotted var. erythrostigma, Haw. (Fig. 4); and two examples of the marsh or saltern form, paludis, Tutt (Figs. 5, 6), for which specific rank has been claimed. Specimens found in marshes, especially those by the sea, are usually somewhat larger than normal, but I cannot see that they otherwise differ from forms of nictitans. The caterpillar is greenish pink with pinkish grey stripes on the back and sides; spiracles black, and usual dots dark brownish; head pinkish ochreous, plate on ring one of the body yellowish brown. It feeds from May to August on grasses, chiefly the lower part of the stems. The moth flies in August and September, and is sometimes seen in the daytime on the flowers of thistle and ragwort, etc., but far more frequently at night, when it also visits sugar more or less freely. Usually common in marshy places throughout our islands. The range abroad extends to Amurland, Corea, Japan, and North America.

The Rosy Rustic (Hydrœcia (Gortyna) micacea).

This moth (Plate 143, Figs. 8, 9) is also widely spread over the British Isles, occurring most freely on the coast, but not uncommonly inland. It appears in the autumn, and is frequently seen at light, and although not very partial to sugar it occasionally visits that attraction as well as ragwort blossom, etc. The caterpillar is dull smoky pink, with a faintly darker central stripe; the usual dots dark brown, and the spiracles black; head, and plates on first and last rings of the body ochreous brown. May to August on dock, plantain, feeding in the stems and down into the roots. Sometimes it attacks the potato, eating down the stalk into the tuber. The range abroad extends to Amurland.

Moths of the British Isles Plate142.jpg


Pl. 142.
1, 3. Old Lady Moth.
2. Gothic Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate143.jpg


Pl. 143.
1, 2. The Crescent. 3, 4. Ear Moth.
5, 6. Ear Moth, saltern form. 7. Butterbur Moth.
8, 9. Rosy Rustic.
[ 295 ]

The Butterbur (Hydrœcia (Gortyna) petasitis).

This is a larger species than the last, and more dingy in coloration. Its chief haunts, among the butterbur (Petasites), are in the northern counties from Cheshire to Durham. It was first met with by Stainton in 1846 at Falkirk in Scotland, and Doubleday named and described it in 1847. An account of its caterpillar feeding in the roots of the butterbur was published by N. Cooke in 1850, and by 1855 the northern collectors had reared and distributed large numbers of the moths among their confrères in other parts of the country. The species is still common in the north of England, but continues scarce and very local in Scotland. Odd specimens have been reported from the eastern counties and once from Somerset. The caterpillar is greyish white with black dots; head, and plate on first ring of the body brown. July and August. The moth occurs among its food plant in August and September. (Plate 143, Fig. 7.)

The Frosted Orange (Ochria ochracea.)

Except that it sometimes visits a strong light, and may then be captured, this moth (Plate 144, Figs. 1♂, 2♀) is most easily obtained in its early stages. The caterpillar is pale ochreous white with conspicuous black dots; head ochreous brown, the plate on first ring of the body is blackish with white lines upon it. It feeds in the stems of thistles, burdock, hemp-agrimony, etc. April to July, or later. The brownish chrysalis may be found in stems of the plants, generally low down near the ground. The moth, also known as flavago, Schiff., occurs from August to October in most places, especially marshy ground, where [ 296 ] thistles flourish, throughout England and Wales. It is found in Scotland up to Perthshire and Aberdeen. Only recorded from Wicklow, Galway, Sligo, and Clare, in Ireland.

Reed Wainscot (Nonagria algæ (cannæ).

This moth (Plate 144, Fig. 4) varies in size and also in the colour of the fore wings, which range from a pale ochreous, through reddish shades, to sooty brown. The cross lines are indicated by black dots. The black dotted greenish caterpillar has a brown head and a whitish green plate on first ring of the body. It feeds from May to July in the stems of reed-mace (Typha latifolia), often called the bulrush or catstail; also in the true bulrush (Scirpus lacustris). Fig. 5, Plate 148, shows the chrysalis in its characteristic position when in the stem, that is with the head upwards. The moth flies, in August and September, at dusk, over and among the reeds; the males especially freely responding to the attraction of light. Its chief localities are in the fens of Norfolk and Suffolk, but it has also occurred in Mid-Sussex.

Webb's Wainscot (Nonagria sparganii).

This moth also varies in the colour of the fore wings, from almost whitish through various shades of ochreous and red. The main veins are shaded with grey, and the median one has black dots upon it, chiefly at the end of the cell; the outer margin with a row of large or small black dots. (Plate 144, Fig. 3.) The caterpillar is yellowish green with darker lines; head and plate on first ring of the body pale brown. It feeds in July and August in stems of bur-reed (Sparganium), reed-mace, and yellow flag. Fig. 6, Plate 148, shows the chrysalis in its natural position in the stem. The hole in the stem from which the moth escapes is also clearly in evidence above the chrysalis. [ 297 ] The moth flies among reeds, etc., in August and September. Its chief localities in England are in East and South-east Kent, in which county the first British specimens were obtained by Mr. Sydney Webb in 1879. In 1899 a specimen reared from a caterpillar found in a stem of Typha, was recorded from Suffolk (Woodbridge district); and in 1901 the species was recorded from South Devon. It is also not uncommon "between Old Head of Kinsale and Glandore," Co. Cork, Ireland.

The Bulrush Wainscot (Nonagria typhæ.)

The fore wings of this species (Plate 144, Fig. 5), usually of a pale whity-brown colour, in some specimens are reddish tinged; or they may be almost uniformly reddish brown or blackish (var. fraterna, Treit.). The row of black spots on the outer area are wedge-shaped and are placed just before the margin. The caterpillar is pale ochreous more or less tinged with pink; a paler line along the spiracles; head and plate on first ring of the body red-brown. July to August, in stems of Typha. The moth flies in August and September, and although it may be netted when on the wing at dusk, or at light, it is obtained in better condition by rearing it from the chrysalis, which may be found in the stems (Plate 148, Fig. 3), those of the previous year for choice, of reed mace. Generally distributed in England up to Yorkshire; it has been recorded also from Northumberland and the Scottish border. It is common in southern Ireland, and found northwards up to Sligo, Tyrone, and Armagh.

The Twin-spotted (Nonagria geminipuncta).

This species, shown on Plate 144, Figs. 6, 7, varies in colour from pale brown, more or less suffused with grey, through darker, or reddish brown to blackish (var. nigricans, Staud.). [ 298 ] In the brown typical form the reniform mark is represented by two dark-edged white dots, the upper one often tiny or absent (var. unipuncta, Tutt), or both may be absent (var. obsoleta, Tutt). The caterpillar in pale ochreous, pink-tinged, a pale line along the spiracles; head dark brown. May and June, in stems of reeds (Phragmites). The chrysalis lies in the reed stem with the head towards the oval hole above it from which the moth escapes. In August the moth may be found in its haunts in the south and east of England. These are marshes, often near the sea, in Cambridgeshire, Suffolk, Essex, the Thames valley, Sussex, Hants, and the Isle of Wight, Wiltshire and Somerset.

The Brown-veined Wainscot (Nonagria dissoluta).

The popular name applies more especially to the ordinary form of this species known as arundineta, Schmidt. (Plate 144, Fig. 8.) The dark brown or black typical form (dissoluta, Treit. = hessii, Boisd.) is local and uncommon; in fact until 1900 it had not been noted in England for a number of years, and specimens were only known from Yaxley. In the year just mentioned however, several examples of it were recorded from Suffolk, taken in the Needham Market district; and in 1905 specimens were reported from the East Kent marshes. Var. arundineta, the neurica of some authors, occurs in the fens of Norfolk, Suffolk, Cambridge, and Lincolnshire; also in marshes in Essex and Kent; and is said to have been taken in Middlesex and Lancashire. The caterpillar is dirty white, light reddish on the back; raised dots black inclining to brown on front three rings; spiracles white edged with black; head dark brown; plate on first and last rings of the body brownish grey. It feeds in June in the stems of reed and turns to a chrysalis in the lower part of the stem, head downwards in the direction of the exit hole below it. (Plate 148, Fig. 1.) The moth flies in July and August.

Moths of the British Isles Plate144.jpg


Pl. 144.
1, 2. Frosted Orange Moth. 3. Webb's Wainscot.
4. Reed Wainscot. 5. Bulrush Moth.
6, 7. Twin-spotted Wainscot. 8. Brown-veined Wainscot.
9. Fenn's Wainscot, 10. aberration sinelinea.

Moths of the British Isles Plate145.jpg


Pl. 145.
1, 2. Large Wainscot. 3, 4. Fen Wainscot.
5, 6. Flame Wainscot. 7, 8. Silky Wainscot.
9, 10, 11. Small Rufous Moth. 12, 13, 14. Small Wainscot.

[ 299 ]

The Small Rufous (Cœnobia rufa).

Varies from pale ochreous white, through reddish shades, to a greyish brown. (Plate 145, Figs. 9 to 11.) The caterpillar is described by Hofmann, as pale reddish above and whitish below, with minute dark dots on the back and a fine blackish line along the sides; head and plate on first ring of the body brown and glossy. May and June, in stems of the jointed rush (Juncus lamprocarpus). The moth flies in July and August, and occurs in fens and marshes. At one time it was not uncommon in marshy localities around London, and it is still to be obtained in Richmond Park, Surrey. In some years it abounds in the Norfolk and Cambridge fens, and in others is hardly seen. It is also to be found more or less frequently but always local in Suffolk, Essex, Berks, Kent, Sussex, Isle of Wight, Dorset (Isle of Purbeck), Devon, Somerset, Gloucester, North and South Wales, Cheshire, and Yorkshire; Argyllshire in Scotland; Ireland.

The Silky Wainscot (Senta maritima).

In its typical form (Fig. 7) the moth shown on Plate 145 is whity-brown, clouded with grey and sometimes tinged with brownish on the disc. The orbicular and reniform stigmata are round and faintly outlined in whitish. In var. bipunctata, Haworth, the stigmata are black and conspicuous: var. wismariensis, Schmidt, has a blackish central streak from the base broadening out towards the outer margin (Fig. 8): var. nigristriata, Staud., has the fore-wings finely streaked with black; and var. nigrocostata, Staud., has the front margin broadly black. The caterpillar is ochreous grey with three fine interrupted, whitish lines on the back; spiracles black with darker lines along their area; head dark brown and shining. September to May, hiding by day in stems of reed (Phragmites) and at night [ 300 ] feeding on the caterpillars and chrysalids of other reed insects (Hofmann). The moth flies from late June to early August. It occurs in the fens of Norfolk and Cambridge, but in the former county it has been taken at Merton and King's Lynn. Dr. Wheeler states that it is usually found in the thicker reed beds where stems of the previous year's growth still remain. Specimens were obtained among reeds in the Harwich district, Essex, in 1902, and the species has also been recorded from Tring, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Sussex, and the Isle of Wight.

The Flame Wainscot (Meliana flammea).

The original British specimen, which Curtis in 1829 named, described, and figured, was stated to have been taken "near Lewisham, towards Lee, in July." Now it is only known to occur in Huntingdon, Norfolk, and Cambridgeshire, chiefly in the fens; in Wicken fen in the latter county it is most plentiful. (Plate 145, Figs. 5, 6.) The caterpillar is greyish ochreous brown, rather paler beneath, with paler lines along the back and sides, the central one edged on each side with darker; spiracles whitish, outlined with black, and a greyish drab spiracular stripe with paler edges; head shining, and faintly netted with darker grey. (Condensed from Buckler.) Hides by day in the old stems of reed (Phragmites), and feeds at night on the leaves, August to October.

The Small Wainscot (Tapinostola fulva).

The fore wings vary in colour from almost whitish through various shades of grey brown and reddish brown (Plate 145, Figs. 12 to 14). The caterpillar, pale shining pinkish ochreous; central stripe pale, bordered on each side with greyish brown. Head pale brown, marked with darker, shining. June and July in stems of sedges (Carex). The moth flies in August and [ 301 ] September, and is found in fens and marshy ground pretty well all over the British Isles, including the Hebrides.

The Concolorous (Tapinostola extrema).

This species (Plate 146, Fig. 3) was at one time subsequent to 1844, when it was first discovered in Yaxley Fen, not at all scarce in that locality and in other fens in Huntingdonshire and Cambridgeshire. It then disappeared from all its old haunts, some of which were destroyed; but a few years since it was met with again in Hunts, and apparently not uncommonly.

Bond's Wainscot (Tapinostola bondii).

The whitish moth shown on Plate 146, Fig. 4, was first taken at Folkestone, Kent, by Dr. Knaggs, in 1859, and named and described by him in 1861. It still occurs in that locality and also on the Devon and Dorsetshire coast, the known localities being Charmouth, Lyme Regis, and Sidmouth.

The caterpillar is dirty white in colour inclining to brownish at each end; a whitish line along the middle of the back; head brown. Feeds from August to June in stems of Festuca arundinacea. The moth flies in June and July.

The Mere Wainscot (Tapinostola hellmanni).

Present localities for this reddish species (Plate 146, Figs. 1, 2) are Wicken and Chippenham fens, Chatteris and Whittlesford, in Cambridgeshire; Monk's Wood in Hunts. Formerly Yaxley, where it was first taken in 1847, used to be a noted locality, but the insect disappeared when the fen was drained. It has been reported from Norfolk (Yarmouth), Lincolnshire, Devonshire (Dartmoor), and Hertfordshire (Hitchin), chiefly in odd specimens. The caterpillar has been described by Hofmann as yellowish-white, or reddish above and paler beneath; plate [ 302 ] on first ring of the body rather glossy, head glossy yellow brown. It lives from autumn to June of the next year in stems of the wood smallreed (Calamagrostis epigeios). The moth flies in July and August.

The Lyme Grass (Tapinostola elymi).

The more or less brownish-tinged, whitish-ochreous species shown on Plate 146, Figs. 5, 6, was not recorded as a British insect until 1861. It is now known to occur in England in many localities, but all on the east coast from Norfolk to Durham. In the Entomologist for 1894, it is recorded as occurring at Montrose on the Forfarshire coast in Scotland. The caterpillar is described by Buckler as pale flesh colour, with a rather darker stripe along the back; spiracles black; head reddish-brown, shining; shining yellowish-brown plates on the first and last rings of the body. It feeds on the stems of lyme-grass (Elymus arenarius) in May and June. The moth flies at early dusk over and among its food plants, and later on it settles on the stems, from which it may be easily boxed.

The Brighton Wainscot (Oria (Synia) musculosa).

This yellowish-clouded, whitish insect is a native of Southern Europe, Asia Minor, Syria, and North-west Africa. Occasionally it has occurred in England, and in the time of Haworth and Stephens one or two specimens seem to have been recorded as British. In 1855 an example was captured at Brighton, and others occurred in the same locality, and at Bexhill, Kent (Jenner), between that year and 1860. A specimen was recorded from Brighton in 1883, and one from South Devon in 1899. Reported from Wiltshire in 1910. (Plate 146, Fig. 7.)

Moths of the British Isles Plate146.jpg


Pl. 146.
1, 2. Mere Wainscot. 3. The Concolorous.
4. Bond's Wainscot. 5, 6. Lyme Grass Moth.
7. Brighton Wainscot.

Moths of the British Isles Plate147.jpg


Pl. 147.
1, 2. Common Wainscot. 3, 4. Smoky Wainscot.
5. Southern Wainscot. 6. Striped Wainscot.
7, 8. Obscure Wainscot. 9. Devonshire Wainscot.
10. Shoulder-striped Wainscot.

[ 303 ]

The Large Wainscot (Calamia lutosa).

This species, shown on Plate 145, Figs. 1, 2, varies somewhat in the colour of the fore wings, which is usually pale ochreous brown, but may be more or less reddish tinged, or clouded with dusky; there is a row of black dots beyond the middle of the wing, but these are sometimes faint or absent. The range in size is considerable, some specimens are about the size of L. straminea whilst others will equal that of a large N. typhæ.

The caterpillar is whitish tinged with pink above, and with a dusky line along the back; head reddish brown and glossy; plates on first and last rings of the body shining pale brown. It feeds from April to June in the stems of reed (Phragmites), causing the leaves of the affected stems to whiten. The moth flies in August, September, and October, sometimes later, and occurs in marshes, and on the banks of streams and ditches, in most of the southern and eastern counties of England, and from Derbyshire to Durham; in Scotland it has been recorded from Roxburghshire (near Kelso, rare), Perthshire, Aberdeen, and Shetland. The species is widely spread in Ireland.

The Fen Wainscot (Calamia phragmitidis).

In the typical form this species (Plate 145, Figs. 3, 4) the fore wings are whitish on the basal half, and incline to reddish on the outer half; var. rufescens, Tutt, has these wings reddish all over, but somewhat darker on the outer margin. The caterpillar is ochreous white with a slightly paler stripe along the back, edged on each side with purplish; the spots are black, as also are the spiracles; head and plates on the first and last rings of the body black or blackish brown, glossy. It feeds from August to June in stems of reed (Phragmites), and is said [ 304 ] to hatch from the egg in the autumn. The moth flies in July and August, and is fond of the flowers of grasses growing in its marshy haunts. It is common in the Norfolk and Cambridge fens, and is found in suitable locations in Huntingdon, Northampton, Lincoln, Yorkshire, Cheshire, and South Lancashire, also in Berkshire, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, and Sussex.

The Common Wainscot (Leucania pallens).

This common, often abundant species (Plate 147, Figs. 1, 2) is pretty generally distributed over the British Isles. The typical coloration is pale ochreous; ab. arcuata, Stephens, is pale brownish ochreous; ab. ectypa, Hübn. = rufescens, Haworth, is reddish; and ab. suffusa, Stephens, is also reddish, but powdered with blackish scales between the veins, and chiefly so under the median nervure. The hind wings in all forms are white in both sexes; but sometimes slightly tinged with greyish on the outer margin in the female. The caterpillar (Plate 152, Fig. 1) which feeds on grasses from August to May, is pale whity-brown freckled above with pinkish brown; three whitish lines along the back, the central one narrowly edged on each side, and the others on the inner side only, with blackish; a greyish stripe along the sides with two pinkish brown lines above it; dots, minute, black; head freckled with dark brown. Distribution abroad extends to Amurland.

Mathew's Wainscot (Leucania favicolor).

This species (Plate 149, Figs. 1, 2) has been mainly found on the coasts of North-east Essex and South-east Suffolk, but it has also been taken at Hemley in Suffolk, and has been recorded from near Southend in Essex, and Rochester in Kent. In 1906 six specimens were captured in the Isle of Sheppey. So far as is known at present this is its range in England, and it does not seem to occur anywhere abroad. It was first discovered by Paymaster-in-Chief G. F. Mathew, in 1895, and was described by the late Mr. C. G. Barrett in 1896.

Moths of the British Isles Plate148.jpg


Pl. 148.
1, 1a. Brown-veined Wainscot: egg and chrysalis.
2. Twin-spotted Wainscot: egg, enlarged. 3. Bulrush Moth: chrysalis.
4, 4a. Fenn's Wainscot: caterpillar and chrysalis. 5. Reed Wainscot: chrysalis.
6. Webb's Wainscot: chrysalis. 7. Devonshire Wainscot: caterpillar.

Moths of the British Isles Plate149.jpg


Pl. 149.
1, 2. Mathew's Wainscot. 3. The Delicate.
4. The White Speck. 5. The White Point.
6. The Cosmopolitan.

[ 305 ] In the typical form the fore wings are of a smooth soft honey colour, or colour of the honeycomb, having the nervures faintly perceptible, but not paler; a black discal dot, and two more dots with some faint blackish dashes indicate the usual second line. Tutt has named several forms, the most important being ab. lutea, bright yellow buff with discal dot and two dots beyond; and ab. rufa, deep reddish with discal dot and two others beyond. Besides these there are ab. ænea, Mathew, deep orange, with only one dot representing second line; and ab. obscura, Mathew, cinnamon-brown, with smoky shading between some of the nervures. The hind wings vary from whitish with darker nervures, to smoky grey; but the fringes always remain whitish.

The caterpillar is a warm putty colour, or pinkish brown, mottled and shaded with darker shades; three pale whitish brown lines on the back, the central one bordered on each side by a darker shade, and the outer ones shaded inwardly with darker and edged below by a darker line; a brown or pinkish stripe above the spiracles, and a pinkish yellow stripe below them; head yellowish-brown, shining, and dotted with darker colour. It feeds on grasses from July to April (adapted from Mathew). The moth flies in June and July, and frequents the flowers of the large grasses growing on salt marshes. Sometimes specimens of a second brood appear in August or September.

The Smoky Wainscot (Leucania impura).

The range of this common species (Plate 147, Figs. 3♂, 4♀), in the British Isles is almost the same as that of L. pallens, but it does not extend further north than Moray in Scotland. The hind wings are greyish or blackish grey. A form with reddish [ 306 ] fore wings is var. punctina, Haw., which sometimes has a row of black dots on the outer margin. The caterpillar is greyish ochreous above, greenish tinged beneath; a brown stripe along the middle of the back is intersected by a very fine white line; above the reddish black-edged spiracles is a brownish stripe; usual dots black; head pale brown, shining, netted with brown and lined with blackish. It feeds on grasses from August to May. The moth is out in July and August; rather later in the north. Distribution abroad extends to Amurland and Japan.

The Southern Wainscot (Leucania straminea).

In its more usual form this species (Plate 147, Fig. 5) has pale whity-brown or pale straw-coloured fore wings, and the black dots forming the second line not infrequently absent, at least as regards some of them. Var. rufolinea, Tutt, has the fore wings reddish ochreous, the rays whitish, and the shade under the median nervure reddish. Var. nigrostriata, Tutt, has the ground colour of the fore wings obscured by a thick powdering of black scales. The hind wings in all forms are whitish, sometimes greyish tinged. Generally there is a central black dot, and a more or less complete series of black dots beyond it; but some, or all, of these dots may be absent. The caterpillar, which feeds on the leaves of reeds, Phalaris, and other coarse grasses from October to May, is ochreous with an orange tinge, and dusted with grey; three white lines on the back are broadly shaded with bluish grey; on the sides are two grey shaded white lines; head shining brownish ochreous (Fenn). The moth flies in July and August, sometimes earlier.

Hammersmith Marshes, a once noted locality for this, the Obscure Wainscot, and other good species, have long since been built over; but the present insect, and perhaps some of the other ancient inhabitants of the said marshes, possibly still occur along the banks of the Thames. Anyhow, it does lower [ 307 ] down in the Kentish marshes. It is found in most of the eastern counties from Essex to Huntington and Lincoln, and also, but less frequent, in Sussex, Devon, and Cornwall. Kane gives Dromoland, Co. Clare, and Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, Ireland.

The Striped Wainscot (Leucania impudens).

This is a rather larger insect than either of the last four species. The fore wings are whitish ochreous, powdered with blackish scales, and often tinged with pinkish. The black shading along the median nervure is sometimes very conspicuous. The caterpillar is ochreous brown, with three blackish-edged whitish lines on the back and dark stripes along the sides; head pale brown marked with darker. It feeds on the leaves of the reed (Phragmites) in June. The moth flies in July and August in fens, boggy heaths, and marshy ground, and is found in such places in most of the eastern counties, in Yorkshire, and from Berkshire and Kent to Devon, also in South Wales and in Galway, Cork, and Kerry, Ireland. Abroad the range extends to Siberia and Amurland. (Plate 147, Fig. 6.)

The Obscure Wainscot (Leucania obsoleta).

This species (Plate 147, Figs. 7♂, 8♀) will be recognized by the fine blackish lines on the fore wings, the white dot at lower end of the cell, and the row of black dots representing the second cross line. It is a very local species, chiefly found among reeds in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire, and may also occur in marshy places along the banks of the Thames from Bucks to Kent. The caterpillar is greyish ochreous above and paler beneath; three white lines on the back, the central one edged with greenish on each side, and the others edged with brownish; the line along the black-edged spiracles is greyish; head pale [ 308 ] brown striped with darker. It feeds from August to October on the leaves of the reed (Phragmites), hiding by day in the stems. It also hibernates in the reeds when full grown, but does not change to the chrysalis state until the spring. The moth flies in June and July.

The Shore Wainscot (Leucania littoralis).

The white line running through the pale ochreous brown fore wings is the chief character of this species. (Plate 150, Figs. 4, 5.) The caterpillar (Plate 152, Fig. 2) is whity-brown with three lines on the back, the central one is whitish, shaded with dusky on each side, the others brown edged with whitish; the spiracles are whitish, outlined in blackish; head, and plate on first ring of the body, bone colour, shining. It feeds from August to May on marram grass (Psamma arenaria), but will eat meadow grass (Poa) and other kinds in confinement. The moth is out in June and July, sometimes earlier or later. It is a coast species, occurring only on sandhills where the marram grass flourishes, and in such localities is found all round England and Wales; on the east coast of Scotland to Forfarshire, and on the west to Clydesdale and Arran; and in Ireland on the north, south, and east coasts.

Fenn's Wainscot (Leucania brevilinea).

On Plate 144, Fig. 9 represents the type of this specimen, and Fig. 10 ab. sinelinea, Farn. This form, which has also been referred to as "alinea," is without the typical black streak at the base of the fore wings. The caterpillar is pale pinkish grey; dorsal line pale yellow or bone colour; subdorsal stripes of the same colour, edged on each side by a grey line, and each divided down the middle by a slender pale brown line; spiracular stripe of a dull opaque yellowish white edged above with grey; head, and plate on the first ring of the body, pale brown, the latter striped with pale yellow (Barrett). It feeds in the upper part of reed stems until nearly full grown, and then upon the leaves. April to July. Barrett states that it prefers the reeds near small trees or bushes to those growing in masses. The moth is out in July and August, and may be netted as it flies at dusk along the edges of the reed beds, etc.; later on it resorts to the honeydew-covered leaves of sallow and alder, and also visits light. This species was first taken in 1864 at Ranworth in Norfolk; it is now obtained in Barton Broad and several other localities in the Norfolk fens, but not in any other part of the British Isles. It does not appear to occur abroad.

Moths of the British Isles Plate150.jpg


Pl. 150.
1, 2. Brown-line Bright-eye Moth. 3, 6. Double-line Moth.
4, 5. Shore Wainscot. 7, 8. Clay Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate151.jpg


Pl. 151.
1, 2, 3. Treble Lines Moth. 4. Anomalous Moth.
5. Mottled Rustic. 6. Uncertain Moth.
7. Rustic Moth. 8. Vine's Rustic.
9, 10. Pale Mottled Willow. 11. Small-mottled Willow.
[ 309 ]

The Shoulder-striped Wainscot (Leucania (Cirphis) comma).

The striking features of this moth (Plate 147, Fig. 10) are the white median nervure, and the black streak below it, of the fore wings; there are also black marks on the veins before the outer margin. The caterpillar is very like that of L. impura, but there is a dark line on the back between the central and outer whitish lines. It feeds on cocksfoot and other grasses from June to August. The moth flies in June and July, and is not uncommon in meadows and grassy places, even by the roadside. Except that it does not, apparently, extend beyond Perthshire in Scotland, it seems to be widely, or even generally, distributed over the British Isles. Abroad it ranges to Siberia and Amurland.

Leucania l-album.—Barrett, "Lepidoptera of the British Islands," vol. ix. p. 450 (1904), remarks: "This species now seems to have made its way to this country, though it is still doubtful whether it has established itself. Mr. Eustace R. Bankes has captured a female specimen in South Devon, and he mentions the occurrence of one or two other specimens. It is a very pretty species, and widely distributed abroad." [ 310 ]

The Devonshire Wainscot (Leucania (Cirphis) putrescens).

So far as the British distribution of this species (Plate 147, Fig. 9) is known, it seems to be confined to the coasts of South Devon and South Wales. It was first noted at Torquay in the year 1859, and about twelve years later was detected in Carmarthenshire. Abroad it occurs somewhat locally in France, Italy, Dalmatia, and in North-west Africa.

The caterpillar is pale brown with three whitish lines on the back, the central one edged on each side with blackish, the others shaded above with blackish with black dots in the shading, and edged below by a blackish line; all these lines become faint on the last three rings of the body; the usual dots are black; head rather paler, somewhat shiny, the lobes conspicuously edged with black, and the jaws marked with blackish. It feeds on grasses from September to January. The figure on Plate 148, Fig. 7, is from one of a few caterpillars kindly sent by Mr. J. Walker, of Torquay. He writes: "They are full fed by the beginning of January as a rule, and although they go down, they do not turn until the beginning of June." Mine unfortunately died in the cocoon. The moth flies in July and August, and favours particular coves and banks by the sea. It visits sugar, and also the flowers of wild sage.

The White-speck or American Wainscot (Leucania (Cirphis) unipuncta).

This moth (Plate 149, Fig. 4) is known in America, where it is exceedingly abundant and destructive, as the "Army Worm." It ranges through India, China, and Japan, and occurs in many other parts of the world, including Madeira and the Canary Isles. It is rare in Europe, and appears to have been noted in parts of Spain, Portugal, and France. Since Haworth described and [ 311 ] named it unipuncta in 1803 it has been renamed many times, and was long known in England as extranea, Guenée. About a score have been recorded as taken in the British Isles altogether, and of these two only in Ireland; the others were captured in England and Wales, and nearly all on the south or south-west coast, chiefly in the month of September. The most recent being one in the New Forest, Hampshire, 1896, one in Devon, 1903, one in 1907, and one in 1911. Also in Isle of Wight, 1912.

The Cosmopolitan (Leucania (Cirphis) loreyi).

Barrett accepted this species as British, chiefly on the strength of two specimens captured at sugar by a sedgy ditch, nearer to Worthing than to Brighton in Sussex; the date was 1862. More recent records are one specimen at Torquay on September 27, 1900, and another, also in South Devon, September 6, 1903. The former taken at sugar, and the latter netted when "flying wildly over rough herbage at dusk." Ireland in 1908.

The species has a wide range through Southern and Eastern Asia, etc., but in Europe it is only found in the south and along the Mediterranean. The specimen shown on Plate 149, Fig. 6, is from India.

The Delicate (Leucania (Sideridis) vitellina).

The first recorded British specimen of this species (Plate 149, Fig. 3) was captured at Brighton, Sussex, some fifty odd years ago. The species has occurred in and around that locality several times since, but seems to have been found more frequently at Torquay and other places on the Devonshire coast. It has also been recorded from the Scilly Isles, Cornwall, the Isle of Wight, the New Forest, and Chichester; Kent, on the coast, and inland at Canterbury, Sussex. In 1902, a year in which several specimens were obtained on the south coast, [ 312 ] one example was taken at Navestock, in Essex. August and September are the months during which it is seen in this country, but abroad it occurs also in June and July. The caterpillar, which feeds on grasses in the spring, is described by Hofmann as pinkish ochreous with three white lines on the back and black dots between them, two on each ring; below the black spiracles is a yellowish stripe; head brown with black dots.

The White-point (Leucania (Sideridis) albipuncta).

This species (Plate 149, Fig. 5) appears to have been confused with the following one. It may be distinguished by its generally smaller size and the pure white spot on the fore wings. The colour of the fore wings is brownish red, rather than rusty tinged as in some reddish forms of L. lithargyria; the second cross line is more distinct, and the series of black marks beyond less so. The hind wings are paler than those of the next species. The caterpillar is yellowish wainscot brown above, inclining to flesh-colour on the sides and beneath; three white lines on the back, the central one edged on each side by a wavy blackish line, the outer ones edged above by a blackish line and below by a brownish line; a pale stripe low down along the sides; head ochreous, shining, and lined on the face with greyish. It feeds from autumn to spring on grasses. The moth is out from August to October. It occurs more or less frequently, and chiefly on the coast, in Kent (first taken at Folkestone, in 1868), Sussex, Hants, Isle of Wight, South Devon, and Essex (Shoeburyness).

The Clay (Leucania (Sideridis) lithargyria).

Two specimens of this species are shown on Plate 150, Figs. 7 ♂, 8 ♀. The colour of the fore wings varies from pale ochreous brown, often with a pink tinge, to a deep rusty red; the reniform stigma is generally represented by a pale crescent with a white or whitish dot at its lower end; the cross lines are rarely distinct, but a series of black dots before the outer margin are usually well in evidence. The caterpillar is pale brown tinged with pinkish or yellowish; central line white edged with dark brown, and on each side of this is an interrupted broad blackish line edged below with white; a whitish line below the blackish spiracles; head and plate on the first ring of the body, pale brown, rather shining, the former freckled with blackish. It is found in April and May on grasses, probably after hibernation, The moth is out from late June to early August and is common in woods, and woody places throughout the greater part of the British Isles.

Moths of the British Isles Plate152.jpg


Pl. 152.
1. Common Wainscot: caterpillar. 2. Shore Wainscot: caterpillar.
3. Clay Moth: caterpillar. 4. Brown Rustic: caterpillar.
5, 5a. Double Line: caterpillar and chrysalis. 6. The Anomalous Moth: caterpillar.
7, 7a, 7b. Small Mottled Willow: eggs and caterpillars.

Moths of the British Isles Plate153.jpg


Pl. 153.
1, 3. Reddish Buff Moth. 2. Marsh Moth.
4, 5. Brown Rustic. 6. ''Xylophasia zollikoferi.''
[ 313 ]

The Brown-line Bright-eye (Leucania (Chabuata) conigera).

This species (Plate 150, Figs. 1 ♂, 2 ♀) ranges in the colour of fore wings from pale ochreous brown to a dusky tawny hue; the cross lines are sometimes very faint, but otherwise the markings are constant. Var. suffusa, Tutt, is described as rusty red suffused with darker scales, markings typical, but deeper in colour and more distinct. The caterpillar is ochreous or greyish brown; three yellow lines on the back are black edged; a yellow line along the sides is often edged with black, and the line below the black spiracles is blackish; head pale brown marked with black. It feeds on grasses, and may be found in April and May. The moth appears in June and July and is pretty generally distributed. It is regarded as a common species in South England, but in the north seems to be rather local and most frequently found on the coast. In Scotland it does not appear to have been noted north of Ross or in the isles. Abroad the range extends through Northern and Central Asia to India and Japan. [ 314 ]

The Double Line (Leucania (Eriopyga) turca).

The sexes of this species are shown on Plate 150, Figs. 3 ♂, 6 ♀. The general colour of the fore wings may be paler or darker than in the specimens shown. Sometimes the central area enclosed by the black cross lines is darker than the other parts of the fore wings; var. obscura, Tutt, has the fore wings obscure smoky grey, with a dull coppery tinge, much suffused with dark scales; markings indistinct.

The caterpillar is pale brown freckled with darker; a whitish line along the middle of the back is edged on both sides with blackish merging into black at the ring divisions; a rather wavy, but less distinct, whitish line on each side of the central one edged above with blackish; spiracles black ringed with pale brown and set in a broad dark brown line below which the colour is pinkish; head shining pale brown, freckled with darker on the cheeks. It feeds on cocksfoot and various other grasses occurring in woodlands. August to May. The moth, which inhabits woods and well-timbered parks, is out in June and July. It is, perhaps, most frequent in the New Forest, Hampshire, thence it is found more or less sparingly to Cornwall. Sometimes not uncommon in Savernake Forest, Wiltshire, and occurs in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex (Epping Forest, etc.), Surrey (Richmond Park). Recorded from Cheshire and from South Wales. In Scotland it is said to have been taken at Newfield, Ayrshire. The only records from Ireland are Clonbrock (1), and Merlin Park, Galway (2). Abroad it ranges to Amurland, China, Corea and Japan.

Treble Lines (Meristis (Grammesia) trigrammica).

The fore wings range in colour from whitish or greyish brown to ochreous brown; the cross lines are usually distinct, [ 315 ] and the central one is often broad. (Plate 151, Fig. 1.) In var. approximans, Haw., the cross lines fall nearer together on the inner margin; and in var. semi-fuscans, Haw., the basal half is greyish or reddish grey, and the outer half is suffused with brownish (Fig. 2). Then there is a somewhat rarer form, with dark grey, brown, or blackish brown fore wings, with the cross lines more or less distinct, as in Fig. 3; or with the central one absent (var. bilinea, Hübn.); or all the lines may be obscured by the dark colour. Kane states that var. obscura, Tutt (= bilinea, Haw.), is pretty common at Howth and other places in Ireland, and, according to Barrett, it is not infrequent in Wales. The caterpillar is greyish or dingy reddish brown; three pale lines on the back, the central one partly edged with black, and the outer ones are broken and inwardly edged with blackish marks; the stripe along the black spiracles is ochreous brown; head brownish. From July to April on plantain and other low plants. The moth is out in June and July. In Scotland it is local and rare, but has been recorded from Clydesdale, Arran, and once from Perthshire. Local but widely distributed in Ireland.

The Anomalous (Stilbia anomala).

A local species, but sometimes not uncommon on heaths, or in rocky places by the sea. It is found from Surrey westward to Cornwall; and from Staffordshire, in which county it has been seen in abundance on Cannock Chase, it ranges into Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Cheshire, Wales (North and South), Lancashire, Yorkshire (commonly at Saltaire), Durham (once), and Cumberland. Generally distributed in Scotland, including the Orkneys. It occurs in the Isle of Man, and seems to be pretty widely spread in Ireland, but found chiefly on the coast. Abroad it seems to be only found in France and in Central and Western Germany. In Southern Spain it is [ 316 ] represented by var. andalusiaca, Staud., and in Syria by var. syriaca, Staud. A typical male is shown on Plate 151, Fig. 4.

The caterpillar is green, inclining to yellowish between the rings of the body; three lines on the back are whitish, edged with dark green; a stripe low down on the sides is whitish, shaded above with dark green merging into the ground colour; head shining bright green, obscurely mottled with darker. In other forms the general colour is reddish or pinkish brown, with the lines edged and shaded with darker brown; the head is ochreous brown, mottled with darker brown. The green form is figured on Plate 152, Fig. 6, but the browner forms are more frequent. It feeds on grasses from the autumn until about March.

The Mottled Rustic (Caradrina morpheus).

A specimen of this species is shown on Plate 151, Fig. 5. There is some variation in the darker mottling and suffusion of the ochreous or pale brown fore wings. The dark brown or blackish stigmata are generally distinct. Hind wings whitish, tinged with smoky on the veins, and in the female on the outer marginal area. The caterpillar is brownish or greyish brown, inclining to ochreous on the back; central line whitish, with a broken edging of brown; on each side of the central line there is a series of blackish arrow heads; spiracles blackish; head dark brown, and very glossy. It feeds from August and through the autumn on various low plants, including goose-foot, knot-grass, dandelion, etc. The moth flies from June to August, and occasionally there is a second flight in October. The species is generally distributed and often common over the greater part of England, but is less frequent in the more northern counties, and in Wales, Ireland, and Scotland. Abroad the range extends to Amurland and Corea.

Moths of the British Isles Plate154.jpg


Pl. 154.
1, 2, 3. Copper Underwing Moth.
4, 5. Mouse Moth.

Moths of the British Isles Plate155.jpg


Pl. 155.
1, 2, 3. Pine Beauty Moth. 4. White-marked Moth.
5, 6. Red Chestnut Moth. 7, 8. Hebrew Character Moth.
9, 10. Hebrew Character Moth, var. gothicina.

[ 317 ]

The Uncertain (Caradrina alsines).

This species (Plate 151, Fig. 6) and the next one—The Rustic—are often confused, but the present one may be recognized by the more ochreous tinge of its fore wings, the more distinct markings, and the general rougher appearance of all the wings. The hind wings are more smoky, or sometimes brownish tinged.

The caterpillar is ochreous brown, frequently with a reddish tinge; three whitish lines on the back, edged with black, the edging of the central one interrupted at the ring divisions; a dusky area along the sides is edged above and below by a black line; head ochreous brown. It feeds from September to March on dock, chickweed, primrose, and various other low plants. The moth flies in July and August, and, like most of its congeners, is partial to the blossoms of privet. The species is widely distributed over England, but seems to occur more commonly in the south and east. It is also found in Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.

Note.C. superstes, an inhabitant of Central and Southern Germany, Hungary, Southern Europe, and Asia Minor, has been mentioned as British, but the record needs confirmation.

The Rustic (Caradrina taraxaci).

Compared with the last species, the one now considered (Plate 151, Fig. 7) has browner fore wings, inclining to brownish or blackish, smoother and glossy; and the markings are usually rather obscure. The hind wings are silky, and whiter in the male.

The caterpillar is greyish brown, with an olive tinge; central line dark brown, expanding on each ring; on either side of this is a brown-edged white line; a light brown line along the spiracles; head ochreous brown. It feeds from September to April on low plants, such as dock, chickweed, plantain, etc. [ 318 ] The moth flies from late June to early August, and its range in the British Isles is pretty much as in the last species, but more generally distributed than alsines in Ireland.

Vine's Rustic (Caradrina ambigua).

The fore wings of this species (Plate 151, Fig. 8) are rather greyer than those of the last, and the hind wings are shining white, tinged with greyish brown in the female, especially on the veins.

Barrett describes the caterpillar as follows: "Plump, cylindrical; head round, the lobes dark brown, but the face paler; dorsal region between the subdorsal lines broadly yellowish brown, with slender, delicate, oblique lines on each segment; dorsal line a row of black dots, one on each segment; lateral space from the subdorsal lines to the spiracles darker brown or umberous, containing a row of ovate, oblique, yellowish spots, each rather raised into a knob by the wrinkling of the skin; spiracles black; under surface, legs, and prolegs pale rosy brown, except the anal prolegs, which are brown." It feeds from October to May on dandelion, plantain, chickweed, and other low plants; also on lettuce and grass. The moth flies in August and September. Sometimes the caterpillars will feed up and attain the moth state the same year in November or December. The species was not known to occur in England until some specimens were taken by Mr. Vine at sugar, near Shoreham, Sussex, in 1879. Since that year it has been taken more or less freely at several places on the south and south-west coast, from Deal, in Kent, to Truro, in Cornwall.

The Pale Mottled Willow (Caradrina quadripunctata).

The black spots on the front margin of the fore wings of this species (Plate 151, Figs. 9, 10) are pretty constant characters, [ 319 ] and are usually present even when most or all the other markings are absent. The caterpillar is greyish brown, often tinged with green above; the lines are faintly paler, and edged with darker; head blackish. It feeds from September to May on grasses, seeds of plantain; also on peas and corn; often common in stacks of wheat and other grain.

The moth flies chiefly in July and August, but it is sometimes seen as early as May and as late as October. Generally distributed, and often very common. Except that it does not occur in America the range abroad is almost as extensive as that of the next species.

Small Mottled Willow (Laphygma (Caradrina) exigua).

This species (Plate 151, Fig. 11) practically ranges over the globe. It is the "Beet Army-worm" of American economic entomologists; whilst in South Africa it is known in the early stage as "The Pigweed Caterpillar." In Asia, and especially in India, where it is destructive to the indigo plants, maize, etc., it is a familiar pest, but does not seem to bear a common name. As regards our own country, it was apparently unnoticed until somewhere about the middle of the last century, when a specimen was captured in the Isle of Wight. Its occurrence here is always considered a noteworthy event, but the records are very scanty except for the years 1896, 1897, 1900-03, and 1906. In the latter year there seems to have been an invasion on quite a large scale, and captures in some localities on the south and south-west coasts must have been in hundreds, whilst the species was also taken in fewer numbers in Essex, Surrey, Wiltshire, Somerset, Devon, and South Wales. A specimen occurred at Crosby, Lancs., in 1884. In 1903 one example was taken at Chester, Cheshire. At Keighley, Yorks, eight were secured, which, added to three taken in other years, gives a total of eleven specimens for the county. In Ireland one example was [ 320 ] obtained at honeydew, September, 1899, at Timologue, Co. Cork.

The eggs (Plate 152, Fig. 7a) are laid in batches on a leaf, and more or less covered with whitish hairs. Some deposited on Sept. 8, 1906, hatched on the 20th of that month. When just hatched the caterpillar is greenish, paler on the last rings; head and plate on first ring shining black; when a week old a black plate appears on the last ring also. Later on the colour varies from green to olive green, brownish, and dark greyish. Green examples are figured on Plate 152, Fig. 7. The central line is ochreous, and there are series of black bars and blackish marks on the back; along the black-edged white spiracles is a pinkish brown band, edged above by an interrupted black line; the pinkish brown colour runs up the front part of each ring four to eleven; head blackish. The caterpillars were fed upon plantain, dandelion, and groundsel, but they would eat the foliage of any weed that was put in their cage. They formed fairly tough earthen cocoons on, or just below, the surface; but, although they pupated, the moths failed to emerge, probably because they were kept too dry. The ochreous or pinkish brown colour of the orbicular stigma, and sometimes of the reniform, distinguishes this moth; the hind wings are white with a very distinct pearly gloss.

The Small Dotted Buff (Petilampa arcuosa).

This pale whity-brown insect (Plate 134, Figs. 19 to 21) is often without markings, and where these are present on the fore wings they comprise two series of dusky dots representing two cross lines, and sometimes there is a dot at the end of the cell. These wings may be shaded with brown, and occasionally there is a dark band-like shade between the series of dots, in the male as well as in the smaller and narrower-winged female. Var. morrisii, Dale, seems to be a whiter form of this species. [ 321 ] The caterpillar, which may be found in May and June in the flower stems of Aira cæspitosa, is of a pale pinkish ochreous with three darker bars on each ring, and a brown, glossy head. The moth flies in July and part of August, and may be found, often in abundance, in most English and Welsh counties, in Scotland to Aberdeenshire; and widely spread in Ireland.

The Reddish Buff (Acosmetia caliginosa).

Both sexes of this reddish tinged grey-brown species are shown on Plate 153, Figs. 1 ♂, 3 ♀. As will be noted, the female is much smaller than the male. Except that it has been recorded from the Isle of Wight and from Bloxworth, Dorset, in the past, this species is restricted to certain portions of the New Forest, Hampshire. Even in these favoured haunts its numbers have become far less than formerly. The moth is out in July. Apparently it has no taste for sugar, neither does it seem to visit blossoms of any kind. It may be disturbed from its retreat among the grass by day, or netted as it flies at dusk. The caterpillar is stated by Hofmann to live on saw-wort (Serratula tinctoria); it is sap-green, yellow at the ring divisions, and marked with fine white lines.

The Marsh Moth (Hydrilla palustris).

The fore wings of the male of this species (Plate 153, Fig. 2) are greyish brown in colour, and more or less tinged with violet; the cross lines are dusky, and the reniform and orbicular stigmata are represented by black dots, the former the larger; hind wings whitish with a smoky tinge. The female is much smaller, darker, and the cross lines heavier; hind wings blackish grey.

Stainton ("Manual," 1857) refers to a specimen taken at Compton's Wood, near York, and this, no doubt, is the same as [ 322 ] that stated by Barrett to have been captured in a moist place at Stockton-in-the-Forest, about four miles from York, certainly before the year 1855. Then there is a record of a specimen from Quy Fen, Cambridgeshire, in May, 1862. Seven years later the late Mr. C. G. Barrett took a specimen as it fluttered about a gas-lamp outside Norwich. In 1877 and 1878 the use of bright collecting lanterns in Wicken Fen may have led to the capture of nearly twenty Marsh Moths, anyway it seems to have been a record for the time.

Very few specimens were taken in the fens between the year last mentioned and 1898, when the total secured by several collectors visiting the fens in June of that year amounted to something like fifty examples, all males. Two female specimens were captured in the Carlisle district, one in 1896, and the other in 1897. No male was noted in that locality until 1899, when a specimen was netted as it flew along a hedgeside at night, on May 20. Two other males have since been taken there, in much the same way. The life history of the species is little known. Hofmann describes the caterpillar as reddish brown with white dots, and a white line along the middle of the back; spiracles and head black. It feeds in the summer on low-growing plants in meadows, and hides in the daytime on the underside of a leaf.

The range of the species abroad extends to Siberia and Amurland.

The Brown Rustic (Rusina tenebrosa).

Here, again, the female is smaller than the male, as will be seen on Plate 153, Figs. 4 ♂, 5 ♀. Sometimes the general colour of the fore wings is of a blacker tint, and in such specimens the fine black cross lines are obscured.

The caterpillar is dark cinnamon brown; three whitish lines on the back, the central one, most distinct on the front rings, is edged on each side with dark brown, and the shading of the outer lines is interrupted by oblique pale dashes; head, shining dark brown, almost blackish. It feeds on grasses, and many low-growing plants from August to May. (Plate 152, Fig. 4.) The moth flies in June and July, sometimes earlier. The species is generally distributed over nearly the whole of England, but more local in the north than in the south. It is found in North and South Wales. In Scotland it is locally abundant and widely distributed up to Ross, and occurs in the Hebrides. It is also widely spread in Ireland, and common in some parts.

Umbratica, Goeze, is said to be an earlier name for this species, and will probably have to be adopted.

Moths of the British Isles Plate156.jpg


Pl. 156.
1, 1a, 1b. Hebrew Character: eggs, caterpillars and chrysalis.
2, 2a. Clouded Drab: caterpillars and chrysalis.
3. Mouse Moth: caterpillar.

Moths of the British Isles Plate157.jpg


Pl. 157.
1-6. Clouded Drab Moth.
7, 8. Lead-coloured Drab Moth.
9, 10. Northern Drab.
[ 323 ]

The Copper Underwing (Amphipyra pyramidea).

The striking species shown on Plate 154, Figs. 1 to 3, varies somewhat in the tint of its brown-coloured fore wings, and in the greater or lesser amount of blackish shading on the central area; the latter is sometimes quite absent, and not infrequently the outer marginal area is pale ochreous brown. The hind wings, normally of a coppery colour, are occasionally paler, and sometimes of a reddish hue.

The caterpillar is green with three interrupted whitish stripes on the back; the dots are yellowish; and the stripe along the black-edged white spiracles is whitish; the back of ring eleven is raised, forming a cone, the apex of which is hornlike and slightly curved backwards; the head is green. It feeds from April, or in forward seasons from March, to June, on the foliage of oak, birch, sallow, plum, rose, and other trees and shrubs. The moth flies from late July to September, and sometimes later. Although somewhat local in Southern England, it is often common enough in the New Forest, and most of the larger woods from Essex to Devonshire. Northwards from Oxfordshire it becomes more local, less frequent, and even rare, [ 324 ] except, perhaps, in Worcestershire (Malvern district, common) and Herefordshire. Apparently not recorded from Scotland. In Ireland it is sometimes plentiful in the south, but does not seem to occur north of Sligo on the west, and Howth on the east.

The Mouse (Amphipyra tragopogonis).

The English name of this generally distributed, and usually common, greyish-brown moth (Plate 154, Figs. 4, 5) applies more especially to the mouse-like way it scuttles off when discovered in its retreat by the collector. In colour, however, it is sometimes not unlike the familiar little rodent. The caterpillar (Plate 156, Fig. 3) is green with white lines and stripes along the back and sides; spiracles white, margined with black; head yellowish-green. In another form the ground colour is pale reddish brown. It feeds from April to June on sallow, hawthorn, and many other plants. Barrett states that it is partial to the blossoms, particularly yellow ones, of garden as well as wild plants. The moth flies in July and August, sometimes later.

The range abroad extends to Central Asia and to the Atlantic States of America.

Note.—Some recent authors refer this and the preceding species to Pyrophila, Hübn.

The Pine Beauty (Panolis griseo-variegata = piniperda).

The general colour of the fore wings of this species (Plate 155, Figs. 1, 3 ♂, 2 ♀) is ochreous brown, more or less reddish tinged; sometimes greenish grey. The cross markings are bright or dull reddish brown; the orbicular and reniform stigmata are white, or outlined in white, sometimes connected by a white line along the median nervure; occasionally these marks are united, forming a blotch. [ 325 ]

The caterpillar is green with three broad white lines along the back, the outer ones edged above with black; a yellow, inclining to reddish orange, stripe along the black spiracles; head reddish brown. It greatly resembles the needles of the Scotch fir (Pinus sylvestris), upon which it feeds from May to July. The moth is out in the spring and continues on the wing until early May, and is often common at sallow bloom, where this occurs in the immediate vicinity of pine woods; it also comes to the sugar patch not infrequently, and may occasionally be seen on the trunks of fir trees, or beaten from the boughs. The species seems to occur wherever there are fir woods or plantations throughout England, Wales, and Scotland to Ross, and is found locally in Ireland.

The White-Marked (Pachnobia leucographa).

A portrait of this moth will be found on Plate 155, Fig. 4. The fore wings are reddish brown, sometimes tinged with purplish, or clouded with blackish. The reniform and orbicular stigmata are usually yellowish grey, often only outlined, but not infrequently indistinct, and sometimes absent. The cross lines are rarely well defined, although the second line may be indicated by blackish dots flanked by whitish ones on the veins.

The caterpillar is green freckled with whitish; three whitish lines along the back are edged with dark green, the outer ones with oblique dark-green dashes spreading to the central line; head paler green. In another form the general colour is pale reddish brown, lines yellowish, and dashes darker reddish brown. It feeds on sallow, bilberry, dock, plantain, and other low plants. May and June. The moth flies in March and April, and may be found at sallow bloom around woods. The species is obtained more or less frequently in Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Somerset, and Devon; also in Buckinghamshire and in Suffolk. In Herefordshire it is local but not [ 326 ] uncommon, and I have taken it in the Malvern district. British specimens were first obtained near York. Porritt ("List of Yorks. Lep.," 1904) states that it is still abundant in Bishop's Wood, and is found in other Yorkshire localities; also occurs from Lancashire to Durham. In Ireland it has been reported from Clonbrock, Galway.

The Red Chestnut (Pachnobia rubricosa).

The fore wings of this moth (Plate 155, Figs. 5, 6) are purplish red and more or less suffused with greyish. Sometimes these wings are more distinctly reddish and without the greyish suffusion (var. rufa, Haw.). The egg is pale straw colour, with a reddish-brown girdled dot. The caterpillar (Plate 159, Fig. 3) is pinkish brown with three yellowish lines along the back, the central one rather obscure; a yellowish stripe along the sides; usual dots yellowish or whitish margined with blackish; head yellowish brown, lined with darker brown. It feeds from April to June on dock, dandelion, groundsel, and other low plants. The moth is out in March and April, and is often not uncommon at sallow and plum blossom. It seems to be pretty generally distributed throughout the British Isles, including the Orkneys.

The Hebrew Character (Tæniocampa gothica).

This species (Plate 155) varies in the general colour of the fore wings from pale purplish grey to dark reddish brown. Figs. 7♂ and 8♀ represent the more usual form. The black markings, often very conspicuous, are in the somewhat smaller var. gothicina, reddish (Fig. 9). Sometimes in Scotch specimens they are very indistinct or absent (Fig. 10).

The early stages are figured on Plate 156. The eggs (Fig. 1a) are laid in a batch, two deep towards the centre of the [ 327 ] heap. In colour they are whitish with a dark grey ring and dot. When five days old the young caterpillars were pale whitish green with black dots; head and plates on first and last rings of the body black. The nearly full-grown caterpillar (Fig. 1) is green above and yellowish green below; three whitish lines on the back and a yellowish stripe along the sides; usual dots black, ringed with whitish; head shining yellowish, dotted with black. Feeding on dock, dandelion, etc., it will also eat sallow and hawthorn, and the foliage of other trees and bushes, in April, May, and June. The moth is common at sallow bloom all over the British Isles. The range of the species abroad extends to Amurland.

The Blossom Underwing (Tæniocampa miniosa).

A portrait of this species will be found on Plate 158, Fig. 8. The fore wings are pinkish, or reddish grey, and the redder central area is often tinged with orange; the hind wings are whitish, faintly shaded or tinged with pink.

The full-grown caterpillar is bluish, inclining to black on the sides; three yellow lines on the back, the central one broad; and a white blotched yellow stripe along the sides; head shining black. (Adapted from Fenn.) The eggs are laid in batches on the twigs of oak, usually just below a bud. When the caterpillars hatch out they spin a web of silk under which they live in company for a time; later on they separate, and then either continue to feed on the oak or betake themselves to birch, hawthorn, bramble, or some low-growing herbaceous plant. The "nests" of young caterpillars are found chiefly on oak bushes rather than trees.

The moth flies in March and April, and generally occurs only in oak woods. It is most frequently met with in the South of England—from Middlesex and Essex to Hampshire; but it occurs in most of the southern counties, and also northwards [ 328 ] up to Yorkshire. It has been found in Wales (Pembroke and Dolgelly), and appears to be rare in Ireland, except at Glenmalure, Co. Wicklow.

The Small Quaker (Tæniocampa pulverulenta).

Most specimens of this species (Plate 158, Figs. 9♂, 10♀) have the fore wings pale greyish ochreous, more or less mottled or dusted with reddish brown. Occasionally these wings are pale grey (var. nana, Haworth); or dark grey brown and more rarely blackish. The dingy brownish dots representing the first and second cross lines are sometimes distinct and not infrequently absent.

The egg is whitish with brown girdled dot.

The caterpillar is greenish grey and rather greener between the rings; there are five yellow or whitish lines, that along the centre of the back being the broadest, usual dots black and glossy; head greenish, much marked with black: plates on first and last rings of the body black. It feeds from April to June on oak, hawthorn, sallow, rose, etc. (Plate 159, Fig. 2.) The moth flies in March and April, and is a constant visitor to the sallow catkins, also to the blossoms of plum, damson, and sloe. It appears to be common throughout England and Wales; more or less frequent in Scotland to Moray; and is not uncommon in some districts of Wicklow and Galway, but local and rather scarce in other parts of Ireland.

The Common Quaker (Tæniocampa stabilis).

The ground colour of the fore wings of this species (Plate 158, Figs. 1, 2) ranges from whitish or pale grey brown through tints of reddish brown to dark brown; the stigmata are outlined in pale ochreous, the centres often darker than the general colour of the wings; the orbicular is of large size and frequently [ 329 ] touches the reniform; the ochreous submarginal line is usually inwardly edged with, and sometimes obscured by, blackish; very often the submarginal line and the dusky central shade are the only distinct cross markings.

The caterpillar is green, minutely dotted with yellow; three lines on the back, and a stripe on the sides, yellow, the latter most distinct, edged above with black, and united by a yellow bar on the last ring. It feeds on oak, birch, sallow, beech, elm, etc., from April to June. The moth flies in March and April, and is generally common throughout the British Isles, except, perhaps, the islands of Scotland.

The Lead-coloured Drab (Tæniocampa populeti).

The ground colour of the species shown on Plate 157, Figs. 7, 8, is usually some shade of purplish grey, ranging from very pale to dark; the cross lines are often indistinct, but occasionally they show up clearly; the central shade, usually in evidence, is sometimes almost blackish and broadened out to the second line; the orbicular and reniform have pale margins but the centres are frequently no darker than the general colour.

The egg is greyish white with dark grey girdled dot.

When full grown the caterpillar is whitish or yellowish green, but always whitish on the back: three white lines on the back, the central one rather broad; head ochreous brown with a blackish spot on each side. It feeds from April to June on aspen chiefly, but also on other kinds of poplar, hiding by day between two leaves. The moth is out in March and April, and may be found on the sallow catkins. It seems to be more or less rare in the South of England, but it is locally not uncommon in many parts of the country from Middlesex northwards to Yorkshire. Farther north it is again infrequent, and this is also the case in Scotland and in Ireland. [ 330 ]

The Clouded Drab (Tæniocampa incerta).

Six specimens of this most variable species are shown on Plate 157, Figs. 1 to 6. To refer in detail to all the forms, named or otherwise, would occupy much space, so that it can only be stated here that the general colour of the fore wings ranges from pale greyish brown, through various shades of reddish brown, to deep brown or purplish brown; the darker greys range through slaty grey to purplish black. In all the lighter shades the wings are usually much variegated, but they may be nearly or quite plain.

The egg is yellowish white with brown girdled dot.

The caterpillar is green, minutely freckled with whitish; three white lines on the back, the central one broadest; a white stripe, edged above with black, along the sides; usual dots black, minute, ringed with whitish; head yellowish green with a few black dots. It feeds on sallow, oak, hawthorn, also on apple, elm, etc. (Plate 156, Fig. 2.) The moth is generally to be found at sallow-bloom in almost every part of the British Isles.

The Twin-spotted Quaker (Tæniocampa munda).

The fore wings range in ground colour from very pale ochreous (typical) or pale greyish (var. pallida, Tutt), through reddish shades to a dingy brown. The black or brownish twin spots on the middle of the submarginal line are sometimes accompanied by others above and below them (var. geminatus). In var. immaculata, Staud., the "twin spots," and also the others, are absent. (Plate 158, Figs. 11, 12.)

The caterpillar (Plate 159, Fig. 1) is pale brown minutely freckled with darker; a whitish line along the centre of the back finely edged with black; a broad velvety black stripe along the sides, edged with whitish; head reddish brown, freckled with darker. It feeds from April to June on elm, oak, sallow, plum, etc. The moth is out in March and April, but a specimen has been taken at "ivy bloom" in the autumn. Plum blossoms, as well as the sallow catkins, are an attraction to this moth, and it will also visit the sugar patch. The species probably occurs in most woodland districts throughout the greater part of England and Wales. It seems to be found in South Scotland, but is local and infrequent; in Ireland it is widely spread in the north, but uncommon in the south.

Moths of the British Isles Plate158.jpg


Pl. 158.
1, 2. Common Quaker Moth. 3-7. Powdered Quaker.
8. Blossom Underwing. 9, 10. Small Quaker.
11, 12. Twin-spotted Quaker.

Moths of the British Isles Plate159.jpg


Pl. 159.
1. Twin-spotted Quaker: caterpillar.
2. Small Quaker: caterpillar.
3, 3a. Red Chestnut: caterpillar and chrysalis.
[ 331 ]

The Northern Drab (Tæniocampa opima).

The dark form (var. brunnea, Tutt) (Plate 157, Fig. 10 ♂) has the outlines of the orbicular and reniform stigmata, and the submarginal line pale and distinct; sometimes the general colour is much blacker than in the specimen shown. In the more typical greyish form (Fig. 9 ♀) the central area is blackish or dark reddish brown. The caterpillar is olive green above, inclining to yellowish beneath; three pale lines on the back, and a yellow stripe along the black-edged white spiracles; head olive green. It feeds from April to June on sallow, willow, birch, rose, etc. The moth flies in March and April.

As suggested by the English name, this moth was supposed to be confined to the northern counties from Cheshire to Cumberland and Northumberland, but it occurs more locally in Herefordshire, Worcestershire (Wyre Forest), Somerset, Gloucester, and Wales; also in Essex, Surrey, and Sussex. Renton records it from Roxburghshire in Scotland, and Kane states that it is local in Ireland.

The Powdered Quaker (Tæniocampa gracilis).

In the ordinary English form of this species (Plate 158, Figs. 3 ♂, 4 ♀) the fore wings are pale whity brown, more or [ 332 ] less tinged with grey; the submarginal line, and the stigmata, are usually distinct, but the other cross lines are only indicated by blackish dots on the veins. In Ireland the specimens are creamy white and very often tinged with pink (Fig. 5), but in the New Forest, Hants (Fig. 7), and in the marshes of North Kent (Fig. 6), deep purplish grey, purplish brown, and reddish (var. rufescens, Cockerel) forms occur.

The caterpillar is green, sometimes tinged with yellowish or with bluish; usual spots whitish; three whitish or yellowish lines along the back and one along the sides, the latter shaded above with dark green or blackish; head ochreous brown. It feeds from May to July on meadow-sweet (Spiræa), fleabane (Inula), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), yellow loosestrife (Lysimachia vulgaris), sweet-gale, sallow, bramble, etc. The moth is out in April and May, and is often plentiful at damson and plum blossom, as well as sallow catkins. The species is widely distributed throughout the greater part of the British Isles, but is perhaps more generally common in the southern and eastern counties of England. The range abroad extends to Japan.

Peucephila essoni, Hampson.

Trans. Ent. Soc., Lond., 1909, Part IV., Pp. 461-463, Pl. xvi., Fig. 1, Dec. Entom., 1909, p. 258. See Appendix.