Noctuidae : Xyleninae
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Old Lady
Mormo maura

(Linnaeus, 1758) 2300 / 73.107
Photo © Nancy Stedman, Aug 2018,  SE006466 High Farnhill, VC64

Immature stages

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Yorkshire Status: Fairly common resident.

Porritt in 1907 wrote "common among old poplars and willows probably everywhere". This is a moth he would be very familiar with. It is not usually attracted strongly to MV light. but comes more readily to actinic light and especially to sugar. The record counts in the county are 19 at actinic light at Doncaster on 2/9/2014 and 15 to sugar at Lealholm on 29/8/2013. It can also be seen commonly resting by day in shady places such as outbuildings, for example 11 in a culvert at Otley Chevin on 14/8/2023. Having said that, the majority of our records are moths caught at MV light, but usually in ones or twos. It seems to be doing very well in the county and in recent years numbers have increased substantially. This has been mirrored nationally. It can be found on the lower ground over most of the county, especially wet areas - not just around poplars and willows as Porritt suggested, but in all sorts of habitats including gardens. The larvae feed on a large variety of plants.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: This moth is mainly attracted to sugar and with the emphasis on light trapping today, may be under-recorded. Young larvae may most easily be found resting on dead dock stems in areas of flood damage on riverbanks during the day, feeding on living plants at night. When older they may move onto taller vegetation as suggested in Skinner (1984) (AMRH pers. comm.).

Recorded in 135 (68%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1847.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Orache Moth  |  Straw Underwing >
Forewing: 30-36mm.
Flight: One generation July - Sept.
Foodplant:   Herbaceous and 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
14/09/2023164SE44 - Wetherby / Tadcaster
14/09/2023163SE23 - Horsforth / Headingly / Pudsey
11/09/2023163SK49 - Rotherham
11/09/2023163SE40 - Goldthorpe
10/09/2023163SE03 - Haworth
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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