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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Plusia Ochsenheimer

Chrysaspidia Hübner.

Adults. Head rough. Eyes glabrous; ciliated. Antennae of males shortly ciliate. Tongue well developed. Labial palps medium to long; ascending.

Wingspan 34–43 mm. Head and thorax reddish brown, the thorax greyer. Forewings brown, silvery-white and golden; yellow and orange, or brown; complexly patterned; the patterning well marked (with transverse lines, streaks and spots, and an enlarged version of the median shiny white ornamentation characteristic of Plusiidae); exhibiting metallic-enamelled effects; reniform undefined; orbicular undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings fuscous; plain to terminally darkened; with a clear discal mark to without a clear discal mark; without transverse lines; exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings strong; arising nearer to vein 4 than to vein 6; convergent on vein 4 near their bases. Thorax crested. Middle tibiae without spines. Posterior tibiae with spines; rough-scaled. Abdomen crested.

Living adults found in August.

Larvae, pupae. Ventral prolegs 4. Larvae posteriorly rounded; feeding on Sparganium, Iris, Gramineae and Cyperaceae; pupating on vegetative parts of the foodplant (the cocoon placed under a leaf).

British representation. 2 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (marshy places, local); festucae (Gold Spot), putnami gracilis (Lempke’s Gold Spot).


Illustrations. • Plusia festucae (Gold Spot), with other genera of Plusiinae: Newman. • Plusia festucae (Gold Spot), with other Plusiinae: photos. • P. festucae (Gold Spot), with Cuculliinae and other Plusiinae: Kirby. • Larvae and pupae of P. festucae and Autographa gamma: Duponchel and Guénée (1849).

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.’.