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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Hydraecia Guenée

Adults. Head rough. Head without a projecting, horny frontal plate. Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate. Tongue well developed.

Wingspan 32–50 mm. Thorax coloured like the forewings, the abdomen like the hindwings. Forewings rosy-ochreous and olive brown in H. micacea, dingy ochreous in H. osseola, darkish purplish-tinged brown or fuscous in H. petasitis; ochreous, or purple, purplish, red, pinkish or rosy, or light brown, or brown, or fuscous, or olive brown; complexly patterned; the patterning well marked, or obscure (in H. osseola); reniform defined; orbicular defined, or undefined; claviform defined, or undefined. Hindwings whitish, or whitish-fuscous, or fuscous, or brownish, or grey; plain, or conspicuously patterned; with a clear discal mark, or without 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. Middle tibiae without spines. Posterior tibiae without spines; rough-scaled. Abdomen crested, or not crested.

Living adults found August and September.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae feeding on Petasites and Althaea H. osseola), within rhizomes and roots; pupating on the surface of the ground, or in the soil.

British representation. 3 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; micacea (Rosy Rustic), petasitis (The Butterbur), osseola hucherardi (Giant Ear, Marsh Mallow).


Illustrations. • H. micacea (Rosy Rustic) and H. petasitis (The Butterbur), with 6 related genera: Newman. • Cuculliinae: Hydraecia micacea (Rosy Rustic, Rosy Ear: B. Ent. 252). • Hydraecia micacea: B. Ent. 252, legend+text. • Hydraecia micacea: B. Ent. 252, text cont..

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.’.