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Euplexia lucipara

(Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Subfamily: Xyleninae, Phlogophorini
  • Wingspan: 32-36 mm
  • Flight period: Mag - Aug
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Polyphagous


The Euplexia lucipara also called Small Angle Shades is a moth of the Noctuidae family, subfamily Xyleninae, with wingspan of 32-36 mm.
In Europe it's present everywhere, except Iceland. *
Its range extends to a large part of the Palearctic ecozone.
In Italy it is also present in the islands. *

The front wings of Euplexia lucipara are dark brown with a broad and clear subterminal band, wider and lighter towards the costa.
The front is reddish ocher tinged with purplish and mixed with brown and olive green. The median area has a triangular spot on the inner margin near the base and a narrow pre submarginal deep olive shade.

An olive green claviform stigma with a dark border is visible, the orbicular stigma rounded, oblique, with a lighter ring. The conspicuously whitish kidney stigma, containing a double brown lunula. A pale, wavy sub-marginal line. The veins towards the termen dotted with dark and pale, external and submarginal line with light dark edges. ****

The hind wings are white / yellowish with a brown terminal band, not present in the anal area, which extends along the veins, light submarginal line.
Head, thorax and abdomen are brown in color with moderate hair.

Euplexia lucipara has two generations a year in the period between May and August. ***
It prefers humid habitats such as riparian forests and meadows near water courses but can also be found in urban environments.

The eggs are initially spherical seeds white with upper spot and longitudinal brown / reddish line subsequently faded, knurled. *
The larva is green with a velvety appearance with darker oblique subdorsal lines; pale tubercles; white yellowish spiral line.
The pupa is brown /dark brown with two elongated and hooked appendages on the cremaster. **

The larvae are polyphagous, feeding mainly at night on Pteridium aquilinum (Common bracken) and other ferns, but it has also been reported on other plants such as Quercus (oak), Betula (birch), Urtica sp. (nettle), Solanum lycopersicum (tomato), and many others.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p. 121
**** Seitz, A. Ed., 1914 Die Großschmetterlinge der Erde , Verlag Alfred Kernen, Stoccarda Band 3: Abt. 1, Die Großschmetterlinge des palaearktischen Faunengebietes, Die palaearktischen eulenartigen Nachtfalter, 1914

Euplexia lucipara
Euplexia lucipara
Euplexia lucipara
Euplexia lucipara
Euplexia lucipara
Euplexia lucipara
Euplexia lucipara
Euplexia lucipara