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Species Notebook:

  • Setaceous Hebrew Character

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    Xestia c-nigrum: setaceous Hebrew character

    Post date: Tuesday, 10 January, 2017 - 21:16

    The setaceous Hebrew character (Xestia c-nigrum) is a common moth in gardens in the southern half of Britain in late summer and autumn but you might need a moth trap to see it as it one of those elusive nocturnal species that rarely sees the light of day. It is easy to see where the 'Hebrew character' comes from in its common name with the distinctive marking on the fore wing but the 'setaceous' means having a bristle like appendage according to my dictionary but I cannot see a bristle like appendage on this specimen!

    This species breeds here with some larvae surviving the winter and the first brood emerges in April and May. The eggs of the first brood start to emerge in August and second brood insects will occur right through until October with the numbers topped up by inward migration from Europe. The colder autumn nights then see most of them off. 
     
    There is a moth just called the Hebrew character. Whilst similar it is a little bit larger and it tends to be around a little earlier in March and April.

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