Acontia (Emmelia) lucida
- Subfamily: Acontiinae, Acontiini
- Wingspan: 26-30 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagus
The Acontia lucida also called The Pale Shoulder is a moth of the Noctuidae family, subfamily Sterrhinae, with a wingspan of 26-30 mm.
It is distributed in most of Europe, it is absent from Ireland, Denmark, the Scandinavian peninsula and the Baltic countries. In the UK, a few rare cases have been reported on the southern coasts and it is assumed to be a migrant form.
In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
Its range extends to Turkey, Iran and India, the Canary Islands and Madeira. It was also registered in Algeria.
The wings of the Acontia lucida show a greyish-white front and a broad dark brown median band, dark mottled and marbled, larger in the center. A white mark is present on the outer edge of the front wings, while a brown mark is near the apex.
The hind wings are whitish faded, with a brown band near the apex. Head thorax and daddome are whitish in color. **
Generally bivoltine , moth adults are visible from May to September preferably on sunny days.
Adults can be attracted to artificial light. Habitats vary from ruderal soils to grasslands, roads, dunes and other host plant locations. This species overwinters as a pupa underground.
In the Canaries, caterpillars can be found almost all year round, there does not seem to be a real diapause in this place.
The eggs are green, elongated, and cone-shaped, with a flattened base and distinct longitudinal ribs. The larvae are green or brown, with transverse whitish bands. ***
The larva is polyphagous and feeds on Convolvulus arvensis, Malva, Althaea officinalis, Chenopodium and others. ****
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Watson, L. & Dallwitz, M. J. "Acontia Ochsenheimer". British Insects: the Genera of Lepidoptera-Noctuidae.
**** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p.106