73.357 (2134) Square-spot Rustic Xestia xanthographa ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

Resident. Common.
Flight period

Douglas Robinson (1870-71) had found it swarming in August on Almorness (VC73). K. J. Morton of Edinburgh (1900) whilst on a visit in July 1899 to Wigtownshire had found this species in the Monreith area. Gordon (1913) had found it common everywhere, often abundant, and very variable from 27th July.
William Evans received specimens from Mowat, the Killantringan lighthouse keeper during 1913-15 to aid his insect migration studies.
Archibald Russell (1944) listed it as occurring near Gatehouse of Fleet (VC73) during the years 1942-43. Sir Arthur Duncan (1909-84) during his lifetime had found it at Closeburn and Tynron (VC72).
A fine series was trapped in 1973 at Irvine House Lodge, Auchenrivock, Dumfriesshire. Then, during 1974-93 two hundred records were provided from all seven Rothamsted station, proving it a widespread species.
From 1987 to 2010 the regular trapped sites at Kirkton, Cally Woods and Mersehead RSPB provided one hundred and fifty records of the three hundred and fifty records in that period, with the rest from widely scattered sites across the region.
Life cycle
One generation. Overwinters as a larva during September to April, when it becomes fully grown, then pupates in an underground cocoon about six weeks later.
Larval foodplants
Chiefly grasses, but also plantains and Cleavers.
The rather square looking kidney-mark that is pale-lined, or can be filled in, on a varying coloured forewing, with a series of dots or dashes as a third cross-line will diagnose the species.
A wide range of lowland grasslands.
© Keith Naylor, Dalbeattie, 12 August 2005

Local distribution map

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Distribution map displays records from the National Biodiversity Network (See terms and conditions).

The following datasets are included:

  • Butterfly Conservation - Macro-moth provisional distribution for the British Isles (excluding the Republic of Ireland) from the National Moth Recording Scheme
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