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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Cerastis Ochsenheimer

Cerastia Stephens, Gypsitea Tams.

Adults. Head rough. Head without a frontal tuft. Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate, or dentate. Labial palps short.

Wingspan 32–39 mm. Head, thorax and abdomen coloured like the forewings. Forewings brick-red brown, or greyish-purplish red-brown; patterned transversely; the patterning obscure; reniform defined (C. leucographa), or defined to undefined; orbicular defined, or defined to undefined; claviform undefined (the stigmata all unclear in C. rubicosa). Hindwings whitish-fuscous, or fuscous; plain; without a clear discal mark; without transverse lines; 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 March and April.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded; feeding on foliage of various, unrelated Dicot shrubs and herbs; pupating in the soil.

British representation. 2 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; leucographa (The White-marked), rubicosa (The Red Chestnut).

Noctuinae.

Illustrations. • Noctuinae: C. leucographa (The White-marked) and C. rubicosa (The Red Chestnut), with Xestia spp.: Newman.


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. delta-intkey.com’.

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