Dot Moth

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Dot Moth
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Melanchra
Species: M. persicariae
Binomial name
Melanchra persicariae
Linnaeus, 1761

The Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found throughout Europe apart from the south-east.

This is a very distinctive species with very dark brown, almost black, forewings marked with a large white stigma from which the species gets its common name. The hindwings are grey with a dark band at the termen. The wingspan is 38–50 mm. It flies at night in July and August [1] and is attracted to light, sugar and flowers.


The larva is rather variable in colour, being green, brown or even purplish. It is marked with lighter diagonal markings and has a distinctive hump at the rear end. It is polyphagous, feeding on a wide variety of plants (see list below). The species overwinters as a pupa.

  1. ^ The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range.

Recorded food plants[edit]

See Robinson, G. S. et al. .[1]

Habitat, Belgium


Melanchra persicariae occupies a wide range of habitats including woodland, field or meadow edges, hedgerows and gardens


  • Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984

External links[edit]