Large Yellow Underwing Moth

2017 April 19

This got into the house on July 31, 2016. I don’t remember now whether one of the girls caught it and brought it in, or if it just appeared inside (maybe due to a caterpillar that I’d brought in to rear and then forgotten about?)


It was a pretty big moth, at around 1.25 inches long.


It was also pretty mellow, standing still for a lot of shots.




I didn’t see any sign of functional mouthparts, so this is probably one of the species that doesn’t feed as an adult.



I’m sorry now that I didn’t persuade it to open up its wings to expose the hindwings, because the pattern of dots on the wings is consistent with it being the paler color morph of the Large Yellow Underwing, Noctua pronuba. I’ve maybe posted pictures of its caterpillar in the past, which is one of the cutworms. This is not to be confused with the Yellow-Banded Underwing that I posted in 2012, which has a similar name but is otherwise almost completely different.

Anyway, the Large Yellow Underwing is an invasive cutworm from Eurasia that apparently has only moved into this area within the last 20 years or so. So far it hasn’t done any significant damage to our gardens, but I suppose that could change if conditions are conducive to an outbreak. Probably one of the things that saves us is that we have a good population of predatory carabid beetles, which are the sort of things that love to eat cutworms.

2 Responses
  1. April 24, 2017

    Man, the Bug Guide doesn’t have much on them at all, does it?

  2. April 24, 2017

    They certainly don’t have as much as I would expect for a well-known invasive pest. Although, I suppose the only thing most people want to know about them is how to kill them, so that kind of limits the whole relationship.

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