- Subfamily: Acronictinae
- Wingspan: 35-45 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Betulaceae, Salicaceae
The Subacronicta megacephala is a moth of the Noctuidae family, Acronictinae subfamily, with a wingspan of 35-45 mm.
It is distributed in most of Europe, it is absent from Iceland.
In Italy it is present in Sicily but not in Sardinia. *
The wings of the Subacronicta megacephala are pale gray, infused with dark gray streaks, with a pale spot kidney-shaped in distal zone, a white spot mid back this marks the dorsal end of the postmedian line which is otherwise sparsely marked. The hind wings are cream in color with darker veins and gray dusting near the edge.
It appears to have a dorsal abdominal crest.
Head and thorax are in the background color of the front wings the abdomen is dark gray, apart from the anal area, has a strong presence of whitish hairs.
The Subacronicta megacephala flies in one or two overlapping generations from May to September. ***
It would seem that in the southern latitudes of South of Europe it may have a third generation. Predominantly nocturnal species, it can be attracted by artificial light and sugary substances. It frequents forests of all kinds as long as it is present the host plant and is also found in poplar avenues and residential areas.
The eggs are lenticular, convex, initially light green in color, translucent on the edges, then a series of brown / reddish spots appears. **
The larva is dark gray in color, with granulated yellowish spots and dark red tubercles when mature; the eleventh segment has a large yellowish-white dorsal patch; the hairs, which rise individually are whitish.
The brown colored chrysalis forms inside a silky cocoon covered with soil debris. **
The larva feeds on Betulaceae in particular on Alnus (alder) and on Salicaceae in particular Populus sp. (poplars) and Salix.
* 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.112