From The Heart

In the month of July 1977, the Heart and Dart (Agrotis exclamationis) in the Noctuidae family was found on Whitenights campus, produced from the UK famous, Rothamsted moth trapping network, that ran a trap near Whitenights Lake from 1976-1977. This species has a range of food plants including Lettuce (Lactuca sativa), Plantain (Plantago sp.)and Fat Hen (Chenopdium album) and is found throughout the UK?

Image 1 Heart and Dart showing typical colouration and black collar © Justin Groves The University of Reading

Image 1 Heart and Dart showing typical colouration and black collar © Justin Groves The University of Reading

It is one of the most common species that comes to light in July. The species emerges from May to August, surviving the winter in a protective cocoon within the soil, before pupating in the spring, there are two generations a year. The species has a wingspan of 35-44mm and is light brown to chestnut brown in colour, and on each forewing there is a large black edged kidney shape, a black edged circle about half the size of the kidney and next to the circle a solid black thin triangular marking (a dart), points towards the end of the wings. If you face the species head on, it also has a very obvious black collar.

Sites you may wish to visit for more information are:

http://www.joyofplants.com/wildlife/search.php?o=267

http://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/species/2089.php

About Justin Anthony Groves

As a student of Ecology and Conservation at Reading University i am very interested many other insect groups, botany and the interaction in nature. Over a number of blogs I hope to pass my knowledge to others but also gain from the many other interesting posts.
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