Common Quaker

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Common Quaker
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Orthosia
Species: O. cerasi
Binomial name
Orthosia cerasi
Fabricius, 1775
Orthosia cerasi
(Fabricius, 1775)

The common Quaker (Orthosia cerasi) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. Some authors prefer the synonym Orthosia stabilis (Denis & Schiffermüller 1775). It is distributed throughout Europe and is also found in Turkey, Israel, Transcaucasia, Russia and eastern Siberia.

This is a variable species, the ground colour of the forewings ranging from greyish to orangey brown, sometimes with a broad dark band. The most distinctive features are two large stigmata, each edged by a narrow pale line, with a similarly coloured subterminal line. The hindwings are drab grey or brown.

Technical description and variation[edit]

For a key to the terms used, see Glossary of entomology terms.

The wingspan is 34–40 mm. Forewing reddish grey, more or less dusted with dark: inner and outer lines blackish, indistinct; orbicular and reniform stigmata ringed with ochreous;submarginal line ochreous preceded by a fuscous or rufous shade; claviform mostly unmarked; veins towards termen pale: hindwing grey, the fringe paler. The species varies according to the amount of red present; — ab. pallida Tutt is pale grey, sometimes with an ochreous flush; — obliqua Vill. is darker grey with markings clearer; — suffusa Tutt is an equally well marked blackish grey form; of these grey forms the second only obliqua Vill. is common; on the other hand when the red tints predominate we get the form rufa Tutt, which is also rare; - in junctus Haw. the upper stigmata, usually separate, are coherent; this accidental connection occurs in all the forms occasionally: — in ab. rufannulata Haw. the stigmata are edged with, and the submarginal line is coloured rufous instead of ochreous.[1]


This moth flies at night in March and April [1] and is attracted to light and sugar.

Larva green thickly dotted with yellowish white; all the lines yellowish white; anal segment with a yellowish white cross bar; head green, with black spots.It feeds on various trees and shrubs including apple, buckthorn, elm, oak, pear, poplar and willow as well as various Prunus species.[2] The species overwinters as a pupa.

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


  1. ^ Seitz, A. Ed., 1914 Die Großschmetterlinge der Erde, Verlag Alfred Kernen, Stuttgart Band 3: Abt. 1, Die Großschmetterlinge des palaearktischen Faunengebietes, Die palaearktischen eulenartigen Nachtfalter, 1914
  2. ^ "Robinson, G. S., P. R. Ackery, I. J. Kitching, G. W. Beccaloni & L. M. Hernández, 2010. HOSTS - A Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants. Natural History Museum, London.". 
  • 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]