Noctua pronuba

Martin Honey M.Honey at
Tue Jan 19 03:53:03 EST 1999

>"Juha Laiho" wrote 

>Talking about Noctua pronuba.... Has anyone collected or seen specimens with
>dark brown hindwings? I collected two specimens last summer in southern
>Finland. Interesting variation. It would be interesting to know of sightings
>elsewhere too.

I've never collected one myself but the following may be of interest.

A specimen of N. pronuba with brown suffused hindwings was collected at
Elstaed, Surrey, England on 23 July 1921 by H.O. Holford and was figured in
a short article in 1924 in the Entomologist 57: 49 [the specimen is now in
the RCK collection in The Natural History Museum, London].

Turner (1938 Entomologist's Rec. J. Var. 50: (143), in his Suppl. Brit.
Noct.) described a new aberration of N. pronuba, ab. postnigra, based on a
specimen with "nearly black" hindwings in the Stephens collection.

There is also another specimen in the RCK collection from nr Halton, Bucks,
dated 1.viii.1954.

Similar specimens may be a more common occurrence but, as Neil Jones said,
pronuba is ogten ignored in traps, unless it occurs in huge numbers.

Whilst on the subject we also have a recently collected specimen of a
related species, Noctus janthe, collected in Cambridge on 20.viii.1996. It
has completely black hindwings although the usual black border can still be
seen under oblique lighting as a different shade. It is the only one that I
know about.

Martin R. Honey CBiol MIBiol, Linnaean Butterfly Project
Biodiversity Division, Department of Entomology
The Natural History Museum, Cromwell Road
London, SW7 5BD, Great Britain
TELEPHONE: 0171 938 8735     International: 44 171 938 8735
FAX:       0171 938 8937     International: 44 171 938 8937
EMAIL:     M.Honey at

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