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Mythimna (Mythimna) pallens

(Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Subfamily: Hadeninae, Leucaniini
  • Wingspan: 32-40 mm
  • Flight period: May - Oct
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Poaceae


The Mythimna pallens also called Common Wainscot is a moth of the Noctuidae family, Hadeninae subfamily, with wingspan of 31-36 mm.
In Europe it is present practically everywhere, except Iceland. Its range extends throughout the Palearctic eco-zone.
In Italy it is present in Sicily but not in Sardinia. *

The wings of Mythimna pallens are pale yellow - ocher, with lighter veins, defined by gray brown streaks, and with similar streaks in the intervals; it also has dark spots on veins 2 and 5. The hind wings are white, gray in the center, with dark veins. The rear wing is greyish with darker veins and dusting tending to brown. **
Head, thorax and abdomen are in the background color of the front wings and covered by a thick down.

The Mythimna pallens is a bivoltine species, the adults are in flight May to October. With the first generation running from May to July and the second from August to October. *** The Mythimna pallens frequents grassy environments in extended bodies, from moderately humid to moderately dry.

These include fallow land and large areas of oat and grass meadows, embankments, roadsides, semi-arid and sandy meadows, forest edges, floodplain embankments. In the humid region it is gradually replaced by Mythimna impura .
This moth flies at night and is attracted to artificial light, sugar and various flowers.
The species hibernates as a larva in the early stages.

The caterpillar is yellow or reddish with gray contamination. It has a white backline with dark edges. Black spiracles, on a yellowish white lateral stripe edged with black. ****

The larvae feed on Poaceae including Deschampsia, Festuca, Leymus, Lolium, Phalaris Arrhenatherum elatius, Dactylis glomerata or epigejos Calamagrostis.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p.144-145
**** Robinson, Gaden S .; Ackery, Phillip R .; Kitching, Ian J .; Beccaloni, George W .; Hernández, Luis M. (2010).

Mythimna pallens
Mythimna pallens
Mythimna pallens
Mythimna pallens
Mythimna pallens
Mythimna pallens