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Species Notebook:

  • Gold Spot

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    • Plusia festucae: the gold spot moth

      Post date: Saturday, 29 October, 2016 - 20:46

      I feel that, in general, my photographs do not really do justice to the exquisite beauty of my subject, I am just not a photographer! With that in mind I should apologise to this little moth, the gold spot moth (Plusia festucae), for not exhibiting it at its best. I hope the picture does give you the idea and would help in identifying one if you found it and wanted to know what it was. The wings of this moth are a mosaic of shades of brown interlaced with patches of golden coloured scales that shine in the sunlight. What a shame it is a night flying insect that is rarely seen by day and is hidden from many of us.

      Here in Dorset it will come occasionally to light traps when on the wing from late May until July and then during the second brood in late August and September. It favours damp habitats and as I live close to Wareham Common which is, indeed, a damp habitat I infrequently get them in my trap. The larvae feed on sedges, bur-reeds, yellow iris and other wet meadow plants and over winter as a larvae tucked down inside the leaves of these plants.

      This species is related to the common day flying silver Y moth and is a similar shape and size.


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