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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Heliothis Ochsenheimer

Chloridea Duncan and Westwood.

Adults. Head rough. Face with a rounded prominence. Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate.

Wingspan 28–38 mm. Thorax and abdomen coloured like the forewings, or the abdomen lighter. Forewings ochreous, grey-ochreous, pale olive-brown, or purplish fuscous; patterned transversely, or complexly patterned; the patterning well marked; reniform defined; orbicular defined, or undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings whitish and blackish, or whitish-fuscous and grey, or fuscous; conspicuously patterned (with a contrasty, dark terminal band sometimes containing pale spots near the inner angle); with a clear discal mark; transversely lined, or without transverse lines; exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings weak; arising nearer to vein 6 than to vein 4. Thorax not crested. Middle tibiae with spines. Posterior tibiae with spines. Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found May to September.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae with red markings, or without red markings; posteriorly rounded; feeding on diverse herbaceous Dicots, including Leguminosae, Compositae, Scrophulariaceae, Caryophyllaceae and Ericaceae, especially on flowers and seeds; pupating on the surface of the ground, or in the soil (?).

British representation. 4 species (1 adventive); South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, and Wales (local); maritima (Shoulder-striped Clover), nubigera* (Eastern Bordered Straw), peltigera (Bordered Straw), viriplaca (Marbled Clover).


Illustrations. • H. peltigera (Bordered Straw) and H. viriplaca (Marbled Clover), with other Heliothidinae and Acontiinae: Newman. • Acontiinae, Amphipyrinae, Hadeninae and Heliothidinae: Kirby 42 (part).

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.’.