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Abrostola tripartita

(Hufnagel, 1766)

  • Subfamily: Plusiinae, Abrostolini
  • Wingspan: 27-30 mm
  • Flight period: May - Sep
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Urtica dioica


The Abrostola tripartita also called The Spectacle is a moth of the Noctuidae family, Plusiinae subfamily, with wingspan of 27-30 mm.
In Europe present everywhere (Iceland excluded). *
Its range extends to a large part of the Palearctic eco-zone, including Asiatic Russia, Siberia, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
In Italy it is also present in the islands. *

The front wings of the Abrostola tripartita are generally of a gray brown color with basal and external marginal areas of the front wings of a whitish gray color, finely mottled with darker gray. The central area is grayish brown, flecked with dark brown. **
The mark in front of the thorax is whitish gray, surrounded by black, and the scales placed on the transverse lines and the central area of ​​the forelegs are less distinct. in this species compared to the related species Abrostola triplasia .

The hind wings are brownish in color with darker shades from the middle of the wing to the edge and along the joints. The edges of all wings are wavy and fringed.
Head, thorax and abdomen are brownish in color with a moderate hair.

The Abrostola tripartita has two generations a year, included in the period between May and September, it is an undemanding species from an ecological point of view, and it can be encountered from semi-open areas, such as woods, broad-leaved forests, especially at the edges and in clearings, up to urban areas. ***
It is easily attracted to artificial light sources and overwinters in the pupal stage.

The eggs are spherical slightly flattened, white, knurled.
The green caterpillar, with chiaroscuro shades, is easily recognizable by the well separated segments and the lateral and dorsal white spots that create a characteristic pattern. **
The pupa is squat of a uniform dark brown / brown color with some hooked appendages on the cremaster. **

The larvae feed on the flowers and leaves of Antirrhinum and Linaria.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p. 107

Abrostola tripartita
Abrostola tripartita
Abrostola tripartita
Abrostola tripartita
Abrostola tripartita