Cucullia umbratica L Shark moth

Although associated mainly with wild Asteraceae, especially Crepis, Hieracium, Lactuca and Sonchus, the larvae also attack cultivated lettuce, occasionally causing minor damage in allotments and gardens.

BIOLOGY

Adults occur from June to early August. Eggs are deposited singly on the leaves of host plants, and they hatch within a week. The young larvae are relatively active and often feed during the daytime; older larvae, however, feed at night. Larvae are fully fed by late August or early September. They then pupate in strong cocoons formed in the soil, and adults emerge in the following summer.

DESCRIPTION

Adult 48-55 mm wingspan; forewings lanceolate, greyish to ochreous-grey, streaked with black (Plate 14f); hindwings greyish-white to greyish-ochreous, dark brown in female. Larva up to 52 mm long; body greyish-ochreous to purplish-brown, paler specimens with a reticulated pattern variably marked with black; pinacula black; spiracles black, ringed with whitish; head black; prothoracic plate brownish-black, marked with yellow.

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