Square-spot Rustic

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Square-spot Rustic
Xestia xanthographa.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Xestia
Species: X. xanthographa
Binomial name
Xestia xanthographa
Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775
  • Xestia trumani (Smith, 1903)

The Square-spot Rustic (Xestia xanthographa) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found in Africa, Europe, Northern Asia (excluding China) and North America.


The species is quite variable in appearance, the forewings occurring in various shades of grey or brown, with melanic forms common in parts of its range. The best identifying feature is the large, pale, squarish stigma which gives the species its common name. The hindwings are pale to dark grey with a whitish fringe. The wingspan is 30–40 mm. This moth flies at night from July to September [1] and is attracted to light, making it susceptible to light traps, and sugar. It also visits flowers such as heather, marram grass and ragwort. It is found in woodland edges, waste ground and suburban habitats with a distribution that covers most of England.

The larva feeds on a variety of plants such as bedstraw, oak and willow, as well as various grasses.[1] The species overwinters as a larva, remaining active and feeding throughout.

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

External links[edit]


  • 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