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Athetis (Proxenus) hospes

([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

  • Subfamily: Noctuinae
  • Wingspan: 26-30 mm
  • Flight period: Mar - Sep
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Polyphagous


The Athetis hospes also called Porter's Rustic is a moth of the Noctuidae family, subfamily Noctuinae, with wingspan of 26-30 mm.
In Europe, the peninsula in the Iberian Peninsula, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, the Benelux, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Slovenia, Greece and Bulgaria.
Its territory is located in Crete, Turkey and northern Iran.
In Italy it is also present in the islands. *

The base color of the front wings of Athetis hospes is pale brown, more intense along the veins. Sometimes there is a narrow, lighter central band, parallel to the costa. An empty kidney spot is present in the median area, more or less evident, such as some dark spots in the disc region.

The hind wings are whitish in color, with yellowish shades along the edge and apex dusted with light brown.
Head, thorax and abdomen are in the background color of the front wings, with a moderate down. **

This moth has two generations a year and is visible from March to September. ***
The species overwinters as an adult larva in the soil. In the first stage, the larva is gregarious and subsequently divides from the others and creates galleries in the stems and holes in the leaves. Pupation takes place underground near the host plant. ****

The larva is brown in color strongly speckled in light ocher, with darker and more nuanced subdorsal bands, light brown lateral bands.

The larva is polyphagous and feeds on Plantago and other herbaceous plants.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p. 158
**** Biology of Athetis hospes (Freyer 1831), in Campania (Lepidoptera Noctuidae Amphipyrinae)

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