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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Mythimna Ochsenheimer

Acantholeucania Rungs, Aletia Hübner, Leucania Ochsenheimer, Pseudaletia Franclemont.

Adults. Head rough. Eyes hairy; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate.

Wingspan 31–52 mm. The thorax usually coloured like the forewings, the abdomen similar or paler, sometimes coloured similarly to the hindwings but usually darker or paler than them. Forewings very pale to darkish ochreous, sometimes orangish-ochreous to almost brick-red; plain, or patterned transversely (with dark or light lines or lines of dots), or longitudinally streaked (with dark or whitish median and sometimes other streaks); the patterning well marked to obscure (sometimes reduced to one or two stigmatal dark dots, or a complete or incomplete transverse outer line of dots, occasionally even the stigmata not indicated); reniform defined to undefined; orbicular defined to undefined (the stigmata variously expressed, as dark dots, or orange, or white); claviform undefined. Hindwings white, or whitish, or whitish-fuscous, or fuscous, or yellowish (or brassy-whitish), or grey; plain; without a clear discal mark; without transverse lines; exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings weak; arising nearer to vein 6 than to vein 4. Thorax crested (front and back), or not crested. Posterior tibiae without spines (?); rough-scaled (in at least some species). Abdomen crested, or not crested.

Living adults found June to September.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded, or posteriorly tapered; feeding on grasses (mainly) and sedges, rarely Rumex, Stellaria; pupating on vegetative parts of the foodplant, or on the surface of the ground, or in the soil.

British representation. 19 species. Status in Britain indigenous. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; albipuncta (The White-point), comma (Shoulder-striped Wainscot), commoides (adventive), conigera (Brown-line Bright-eye), favicolor (Mathew’s Wainscot), ferrago (The Clay), impura (Smoky Wainscot), l-album (L-album Wainscot), litoralis (Shore Wainscot), loreyi (The Cosmopolitan), obsoleta (Obscure Wainscot), pallens (Common Wainscot), pudorina (Striped Wainscot), putrescens (Devonshire Wainscot), straminea (Southern Wainscot), turca (The Double Line), unipuncta (White-speck, or American Wainscot), vitellina (The Delicate).


Illustrations. • The British species of Mythimna and Senta (Wainscots): Newman). • Hadeninae: Mythimna litoralis (Curtis): Shore Wainscot: B. Ent. 157. • Mythimna litoralis (B. Ent. 157, legend+text). • Mythimna litoralis (B. Ent. 157, text cont.). • 4 Mythimna species with other Hadeninae: Kirby.

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.’.