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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Polia Ochsenheimer

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

Wingspan 45–58 mm. Head, thorax and abdomen coloured like the hindwings. Forewings grey or light or dark grey-brown; complexly patterned; the patterning well marked; reniform defined; orbicular defined; claviform defined. Hindwings light fuscous, or grey, or brownish, or ochreous; plain to terminally darkened; 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). Posterior tibiae without spines (?). Abdomen more or less crested.

Living adults found June and July.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded; feeding on diverse Dicot herbs and grasses before hibernation, then shoots of Rubus, Salix, Crataegus, Quercus, etc.; pupating in the soil (just below the surface).

British representation. 3 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; bombycina (The Pale Shining Brown), trimaculosa (Silvery Arches), nebulosa (Grey Arches).


Illustrations. • Polia nebulosa (Grey Arches), light and melanic forms: photos. • Hadeninae: The 4 British Polia species, with 8 related genera: Newman. • Noctuinae and 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.’.