Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Lepidoptera-Noctuidae

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Agrotis Ochsenheimer

Agronoma Hübner, Georyx Hübner, Psammophila Stephens, Scotia Hübner.

Adults. Head rough. Face with a small truncate-conical prominence having a raised rim (7 species), or without any conspicuous prominence (2 species). Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males simple, or ciliate, or dentate, or bipectinate.

Wingspan 30–50 mm. Forewings grey, grey-brown, umber brown, etc.; neither green nor greenish tinged; neither purplish nor rosy marked or tinged; complexly patterned; the patterning well marked; reniform defined; orbicular defined; claviform defined, or undefined. Hindwings white, or whitish, or fuscous, or grey (usually darker posteriorly); plain, or terminally darkened (usually); with a clear discal mark, or without a clear discal mark; transversely lined, or without transverse lines (mostly); exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings strong (distally); arising nearer to vein 6 than to vein 4. Thorax crested (front and rear). Middle tibiae with spines. Posterior tibiae with spines. Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found June to August, or August and September, or August to December, or January to April (hibernating A. ipsilon and A. ripae).

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded, or posteriorly tapered; feeding on divers Dicot herbs and grasses, sometimes in roots or stems; pupating in the soil.

British representation. 12 species. Status in Britain indigenous, or vagrant, or adventive, or alien. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; A. cinerea (Light Feathered Rustic), A. clavis (Heart and Club), A. crassa (Great Dart, sporadic migrant from mainland Europe), A. exclamationis (Heart and Dart), A. ipsilon (Dark Sword Grass), A. puta (Shuttle-shaped Dart), A. ripae (Sand Dart), A. segetum (Turnip moth), A. spinifera (Gregson’s Dart, occasionally vagrant from southern Europe and Africa), A. trux (Crescent Dart), A. vestigialis (Archer's Dart).


Illustrations. • Noctuinae: Agrotis cinerea (Light Feathered Rustic: B. Ent. 165). • Noctuinae: Agrotis cinerea: B. Ent. 165, legend+text. • Noctuinae: Agrotis cinerea: B. Ent. 165, text cont.. • British Agrotis species (1): Newman. • British Agrotis species (2): Newman. AGROTIS. 530, A. clavis (Heart and Club: a-c, males, d-e females); 531, A. cinerea (Light-feathered Rustic); 532, A. ripae (Sand Dart: a normal, b an unusual var.). • Light and melanic forms of Agrotis exclamationis (Heart and Dart: photos). • Larvae of Agrotis segetum (Turnip Moth): Newman. • Noctuinae: Kirby. • Noctuinae and Hadeninae: Kirby. • Agrotis puta (Shuttle-shaped Dart): Stephens II, 1830. • Agrotis ripae (Sand Dart): Stephens II, 1830. • Agrotis trux lunigera (Crescent Dart): Stephens II, 1830.

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Lepidoptera-Noctuidae. Version: 8th June 2016.’.