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Deltote (Protodeltote) pygarga

(Hufnagel, 1766)

  • Subfamily: Eustrotiinae
  • Wingspan: 20-26 mm
  • Flight period: May - Sep (Nov)
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Caprifoliaceae, Rosaceae, Poaceae


The Deltote pygarga also called Marbled White Spot is a moth of the Noctuidae family, subfamily Eustrotiinae, with a wingspan of 20-26 mm.
It is distributed in most of Europe, it is absent from northern European Russia.
Its range also extends to Asia Minor, Iran, Afghanistan, southern Siberia, China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan
In Italy it is also present in the islands, in the Alps it is visible up to 1000 m. *

The wings of the Deltote pygarga are browncolor suffused with shaded black, with internal and external double lines of blackish color, with the inside filled with dark gray and brownish. The exterior, white, is strongly curved; Two gray stigmata with clear outlines are present in the discal and postdiscal regions. Pale submarginal line preceded by dark shading that thins out towards the inner margin; the space beyond the outer line in the lower half of the wing is more or less white.

Gray hind wings with whitish fringe. Head and thorax are brown with white dusting, the abdomen has more intense white dusting.

The Deltote pygarga normally flies from May to July in a single generation depending on location. In the southern regions it may have two generations and is visible until late autumn. ***
The species prefers moderately humid to dry clearings, wooded areas and edges thereof.
These range from pure, mixed deciduous forests to coniferous forests to pure coniferous forests. It can also be found in more open habitats such as zones with semi-dry turf, abandoned vineyards, hills, quarries and gravel pits.

The larvae are green in the early stages, later brown / yellowish with a broad reddish dorsal stripe and several thin reddish lateral lines outlined in white. The head is whitish / brown, translucent
The chrysalis is squat, amber brown in color and with hooked curved appendages on the Cremaster, the two central ones longer and larger than the others. **

The larva feeds on Caprifoliaceae such as Lonicera, Rosaceae Rubus idaeus and several Poaceae.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p.104

Deltote pygarga
Deltote pygarga
Deltote pygarga
Deltote pygarga
Deltote pygarga
Deltote pygarga
Deltote pygarga
Deltote pygarga