Frosted orange moth

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Frosted orange moth
Gortyna flavago.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Noctuidae
Genus: Gortyna
Species: D. flavago
Binomial name
Gortyna flavago
(Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

Noctua flavago Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775
Phalaena ochracea Hübner, 1786
Phalaena lappae Donovan, 1801
Noctua ochraceago Haworth, 1809

The frosted orange moth (Gortyna flavago) is a moth of the Noctuidae family which is found in Europe, Armenia, Syria and east through the Palearctic to western Siberia.[1] It has also been recorded in Algeria. The frosted orange is a night-flying species with orange and brown speckled wings allow for perfect camouflage against autumn leaves in the daytime. It is attracted to light and does not come to flowers, and its larva inhabit the stems and roots of the species' food plants.

Technical description and variation[edit]

Wingspan ranges from 3 to 4.3 cm, Forewing yellow, thickly dusted with bright ferruginous, the space between subbasal and inner lines and that between outer and submarginal lines, filled up with dull liver-brown; the lines and veins finely red brown; all 3 stigmata pale yellow with darker centres and brown outlines, the reniform containing an outlined lunule; submarginal line yellowish ending in a yellow apical blotch: hindwing dirty luteous, with veins and cellspot, the outer line and a submarginal cloud grey:- in ab. suffusa ab. nov. [Warren] the forewing is wholly suffused with ferruginous; - cinarea Goosens from Algeria is pale yellow or reddish grey, with a dark patch between the stigmata, which are almost obsolete: the terminal area of ground colour or violet brown without any pale apical patch: hindwing without markings, whitish grey.[2]


Habitat, Germany

Flies between August and October. Northern variants tend to be slightly darker in colour.

Larva dirty white or yellowish, the dorsum dark red, with 3 faintly paler longitudinal lines; tubercles, and also the spiracles, black; head and plates dark brown.They feed on Sambucus racemosa, Filipendula ulmaria, Helianthus annuus and Arctium species – Arctium tomentosum, A. minus.[3] The larva are considered a pest on foxglove (Digitalis purpurea).


  1. ^ Colour Atlas of Siberian Lepidoptera
  2. ^ 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
  3. ^ "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.". 
  • Wildlife of Britain – the definitive visual guide by Dorling Kindersley and the RSPB.

External links[edit]