Noctuidae : Acronictinae
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Knot Grass
Acronicta rumicis

(Linnaeus, 1758) 2289 / 73.045
Photo © Damian Money,  Skelton in Cleveland, VC62

Immature stages

Similar Yorkshire Species
Poplar Grey
Subacronicta megacephala
Craniophora ligustri
Light Knot Grass
Acronicta menyanthidis
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Yorkshire Status: Common and widespread resident.

In 1883, Porritt described Knot Grass as "abundant everywhere". That might be considered a bit of an exaggeration nowadays, though as Sutton and Beaumont suggests below, we now rely so much on moth traps that we can underestimate the abundance of some species. 92% of records of Knot Grass are of just one or two moths, so perhaps it does not come readily to light. We certainly receive a lot of records of the distinctive larva on a wide variety of plants. This is a widespread moth across the county, especially in upland areas in the west and the north-east. Numbers have increased substantially over the last few years. It has two broods to the south of us and until recently there has been little evidence of this happening in Yorkshire, however in the last few years we have had more records of late moths in September and October. It can sometimes lead to identification problems for the unwary, but the little white marks near the trailing corner of the forewings are characteristic.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Probably widespread and frequent in all five vice-counties. However, this is a species which comes to sugar more readily than light and records are rather few in VC61 and VC65. Only reported as common at Harmby, VC65 (FBS) and Sheffield, VC63, where Garland (1979) states it to be abundant in gardens.

Recorded in 158 (79%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1879.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Scarce Dagger  |  Poplar Grey >
Forewing: 16-20mm
Flight: May - June and August - September
Foodplant:   Herbaceous and low woody plants
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 1
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
04/10/2023+61TA41 - Kilnsea / Spurn Head
29/09/2023+61SE92 - Swanland
28/09/2023163SE51 - Askern
23/09/2023163SK59 - Maltby
16/09/2023+61TA02 - Hessle
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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