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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Xanthia Ochsenheimer

Cirrhia Hübner, Citria Hübner, Mellinia Hübner, Tiliacea Tutt.

Adults. Head rough. Eyes glabrous; ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate.

Wingspan 28–40 mm. Thorax generally coloured like the forewings, the abdomen more like the hindwings. Forewings orange-brown, pale lemon yellow or orange-yellow, often with purple markings; plain, or patterned transversely, or complexly patterned; the patterning well marked to obscure (with a single dark spot representing the lower part of the reniform, or very faintly marked save for four dark transverse lines, or complexly patterned with purplish lines, dots, bands and fasciae); reniform defined, or undefined; orbicular defined, or undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings white to whitish, or ochreous, or yellowish; plain; 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. Posterior tibiae without spines. Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found August to October.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded; feeding on foliage or inflorescences of diverse deciduous trees and shrubs - especially Salix, Ulmus, Tilia, Fagus, Acer (but curiously, no mention of oak!); pupating on vegetative parts of the foodplant, or on the surface of the ground, or in the soil.

British representation. 6 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; aurago (Barred Sallow), citrago (Orange Sallow), gilvago Dusky-lemon Sallow), icteritia (The Sallow), ocellaris (Pale-lemon Sallow), togata (Pink-barred Sallow).


Illustrations. • 5 British species (Sallows), and 3 related genera: Newman. • Cuculliinae: 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.’.