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Large Yellow Underwing

Noctua pronuba


From Wikipedia: "The large yellow underwing (Noctua pronuba) is a moth, the type species for the family Noctuidae. It is an abundant species throughout the Palearctic ecozone, one of the most common and most familiar moths of the region. In some years the species is highly migratory with large numbers appearing suddenly in marginal parts of the range. This is a quite large and heavy moth with a wingspan of 50–60 mm. The forewings are quite variable from light brown to almost black. The darker individuals often have a pale streak along the costa. The hindwings are bright orange-yellow with a black sub-terminal band. As with other Noctua species (and numerous other insects), this contrast of bland-on-land and bright-in-flight is used to confuse potential predators. This species flies at night from July to September and is attracted to light, sometimes in huge numbers. It will also visit flowers such as Buddleia, ragwort, and red valerian."


This moth flew in the room during class and I grabbed it to put outside. It was nice enough to let me take some pictures before it flew off.

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Spotted by

Monterey, California, USA

Spotted on May 1, 2015
Submitted on May 1, 2015

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