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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Orthosia Ochsenheimer

Cuphanoa Hübner, Monima Hübner, Orthoa Billberg, Semiophora Stephens, Taeniocampa Guenée.

Adults. Head rough (-haired). Eyes hairy; not ciliated. Antennae of males (bi) dentate, or bipectinate (mostly).

Wingspan 28–46 mm. Thorax and abdomen coloured like the forewings, or the abdomen like the hindwings. Forewings fuscous, light olive- or reddish-brown, or buff to pale brown with rosy tinge; almost plain, or patterned transversely, or longitudinally streaked, or complexly patterned; the patterning well marked, or obscure (commonly); reniform defined (but often only faintly); orbicular defined to undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings white, or fuscous, or whitish-fuscous and pinkish, or grey; plain to terminally darkened; with a clear discal mark, or without a clear discal mark (mostly); 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. Posterior tibiae without spines (?). Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found March to May, or August to October (The Orthosia species are mostly on the wing in the Spring months, sometimes perhaps after hibernation, and are commonly attracted to Sallow bloom).

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded; feeding on foliage of diverse Dicot herbs, trees and shrubs - especially Quercus and Salix; pupating on the surface of the ground, or in the soil.

British representation. 9 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; cerasi (Common Quaker), cruda (Small Quaker), gothica (Hebrew Character), gracilis (Powdered Quaker), incerta (Clouded Drab), miniosa (Blossom Underwing), munda (Twin-spotted Quaker), opima (Northern Drab), populeti (Lead-coloured Drab).


Illustrations. • 9 Orthosia species (Quakers and Drabs): Newman. • British Orthosia species (Quakers and Drabs): photos. • 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.’.