The Moths of Suffolk
2108 Lunar Yellow Underwing, Noctua orbona, (Hufnagel, 1766)

National Status : Notable Nb

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Not infrequent heathland species, with occasional records at light elsewhere in the county

Habitats : Grassland and heathland on light soils, occasionally appears to wander

Flight Period : Single-brooded; June to mid-October, aestivates during the warmer summer months

Larval foodplants : Mainly fine acid grasses; fescues, bents, Wavy Hair Grass and Yorkshire Fog

Morley's Final Catalogue : Rare, and usually found singly, but quite widely distributed. Ipswich (Ml); Waldringfield, singly annually but several on sugar in June 1899 (Wlr); Bury (Skepper); Tuddenham in 1891 (W. M. Christy), Barton Mills in 1930 (Wiltshire), Brandon (Barrett). Gorleston in July 1923, 1927 and 1930 (Mr); Henham in early August 1937 (Btn).

Wingspan details : Forewing 17-20mm, Wingspan 38-45mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultLarge Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba
Lesser Yellow Underwing, Noctua comes

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Ipswich, Suffolk (vi.2002) © N Sherman

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
2 91 50 51 100 13

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
larva larva larva larva pupa imago image diapause imago imago larva larva larva

Further Photographs

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Found at night on acid grassland - Tunstall Common, Suffolk (iv.2003) © N Sherman
Found at night on acid grassland - Ipswich, Suffolk (iii.2004) © N Sherman
Prferred habitat, with clumps of Festuca - Upper Hollesley Common, Suffolk (19.xi.2005) © A Prichard
 
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Preferred habitat, Deschampsia grass clumps - Rushmere Heath, Suffolk (29.x.2005) © A Prichard
Rendlesham, Suffolk (vi.2003) © A Prichard
Ipswich, Suffolk (23.viii.2012) © Neil Sherman
 
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Dunwich, Suffolk (22.vi.2014) © Paul Kitchener
Sutton Common, Suffolk (2.iv.2016) © A Prichard
ex larva - Sutton Common, Suffolk (15.iii.2016) © John Knowler
 
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ex larva - Sutton Common, Suffolk (15.iii.2016) © John Knowler