Orthosia incerta Hufnagel Clouded drab moth

This generally common moth is sometimes of pest status in apple orchards. The larvae feed on the leaves but, more significantly, also bite into the developing fruitlets. Attacked fruitlets often fall prematurely or, if reaching maturity, are deformed and bear corky scars.


Moths fly in March and April. Eggs are then laid on the leaves of various food plants and hatch in about 10-14 days. The larvae feed from May onwards and are fully grown in June or July. They then pupate in flimsy subterranean cocoons. Adults emerge in the following spring.


Adult 32-42 mm wingspan; forewings extremely variable, ranging from grey to brown or purplish-black, with often indistinct markings; hindwings grey to brownish-grey (Fig. 326). Larva up to 45 mm long; body varying from green to bluish-green, distinctly speckled with white, and with a broad white line along the back and a white or yellow spiracular stripe, edged above with black; head pale green or yellowish brownish.

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