Noctuidae : Plusiinae
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Gold Spot
Plusia festucae

(Linnaeus, 1758) 2439 / 73.022
Photo © Damian Money,  Saltburn, VC62

Similar Yorkshire Species
Lempke's Gold Spot
Plusia putnami
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Yorkshire Status: Common and fairly widespread resident.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Recorded from scattered areas all over the County, but not usually common. How accurately this species and P. putnami (Grote) are being separated is not yet clear. However, Dunn and Parrack (1986) only consider records which have been determined by genitalia to be definite.

2012 (CHF): Common and widespread across all five vice-counties. Before 2000 this species was mostly univoltine in Yorkshire with a peak in July. Since then there has been a huge increase in numbers fuelled by an earlier first brood in June and a larger second brood in August. There is still considerable confusion separating this species from Lempke's Gold Spot. The size and shape of the central silvery spots is notoriously unreliable. A better feature (see Skinner) is the lower apical streak which is more pointed in Gold Spot, but the best feature is to look at the angle of the upper part of the postmedial line as it skirts the lower apical streak. Despite this, there are individuals which cannot be determined with any certainty and these should be dissected. There is no disgrace in not identifying this pair to species level! As a rule, if it looks like Gold Spot it probably is. If it looks like Lempke's, think very carefully. Lempke's tends to be smaller and paler and is commoner on the higher ground.

Recorded in 170 (85%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1929.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

< Scarce Silver Y  |  Lempke's Gold Spot >
Forewing: 14-19mm
Flight: June - July and August - September
Foodplant:   Sedges, Yellow Iris, Branched Bur-reed, Water-plantain and other plants
Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
06/10/2023162SE56 - Easingwold (S)
06/10/2023161TA02 - Hessle
13/09/2023161TA02 - Hessle
10/09/2023164SE24 - Bramhope / Otley
10/09/2023461TA07 - Hunmanby
  Immature   Adult   [Show Flight Weeks]
Show Details | 1990 to 2023 | 2000 to 2023 | Graph Key
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