This moth has a wingspan of 36 to 42 mm. The forewings are brown with mostly indistinct markings except for the narrow black mark at the base of the wing which gives the species its common name. The hindwings are greyish brown, darker towards the margins, with prominent dark venation. This moth flies at night and is attracted to light and sugar. Its flight season in the British Isles is May and June.
The larva feeds on various grasses, including oats, fescues, barleys, canarygrasses, timothy, ryes, wheats, and wild rice. This species overwinters as a larva, feeding in mild weather throughout the season.
Its habitat includes fields, grasslands, and steppe.
- Apamea sordens finitima (formerly A. finitima)
- Apamea sordens cerivana (Alberta)
- Apamea sordens sableana Mikkola, 2009
- "Robinson, G. S., et al. 2010. HOSTS - A Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants. Natural History Museum, London.".
- Species Page - Apamea sordens finitima. Entomology Collection. University of Alberta.
- Chinery, M. Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe. 1986 (Reprinted 1991).
- Skinner, B. Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles. 1984.
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