- Subfamily: Plusiinae, Plusiini
- Wingspan: 35-40 mm
- Flight period: May - Oct
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagous
The Autographa gamma also called Silver Y is a moth of the Noctuidae family, subfamily Plusiinae,
with wingspan of 35-40 mm.
In Europe it is present everywhere including Iceland. *
Its range extends to a large part of the Palearctic eco-zone, including North Africa.
In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
The front wings of the Autographa gamma are intricately modeled with various shades of brown and gray which provide excellent camouflage. In the center of each fore wing there is a white / silver mark in the shape of the letter "Y" or the Greek letter Gamma .
Specifically, it has purplish gray front wings, with darker suffusion in some points; features pale silvery lines edged on both sides with dark shades, the external indented line on the 2nd vein folds into the submedian area. The orbicular stigmata is oblique and the stigmata reniform, as opposed to the orbicular, and restricted in the center, both bordered of silvery.
The lower middle area is black in the center, containing the white / silver sign in the shape of the letter "Y" .
The submarginal region has a jagged pattern, preceded by a darker shade, a large blackish terminal border is also visible. 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 fringed.
Head, thorax and abdomen are brownish in color with a moderate hair.
The Autographa gamma frequents various places with a predilection for open spaces. Observable throughout the year in the areas around the Mediterranean and the Black Sea, areas where it migrates in winter. **** Normally bivoltine ***, in particularly good conditions it can even reach four generations.
The eggs are laid on the upper or lower surface of the leaves. They are whitish in color and hemispherical in shape with deep ribs. **
Larva light green, with thin whitish or yellowish lines, partly double; a straight yellowish lateral line above the white spiracles with black rings. In the later stages a black band is often visible on the sides of the head **
The pupa is initially green, gradually becomes black over time, it is located inside a silky cocoon.
The larvae feed on a large amount of plants, more than 200 are recorded including cultures such as Pisum sativum (pea) Beta vulgaris (sugar beet) and Brassica oleracea (cabbage), sometimes reducing their yield, are therefore considered weeds .
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p. 109
**** Cardé, R. 2016. Science Direct. Insect Migration: Do Migrant Moths Know Where They Are Heading?