Scientific name: Heliothis viriplaca
June to July. Mainly southern England. Medium-sized buff and brown moth. Often found near restharrow, common toadflax, white campion, red clover on breckland and chalk downland.
Similar to the Shoulder-striped Clover, though separated from that species by the absence of the dark shoulder-stripe marking at the base of the forewing. The Shoulder-striped Clover also has a more angled inner edge to the dark cross band on the forewing.
Flies rapidly in warm sunshine visiting a range of flowers, including Viper’s Bugloss. Also flies after dark.
Size and Family
- Family – Clovers, Straws and allies (Heliothines)
- Small Sized
- Wingspan Range - 26-30mm
- UK BAP: Not listed
- Rare (Red Data Book category 3)
Caterpillar Food Plants
Feeds on the flowers and unripe seeds of many plants, including Restharrow (Ononis repens), Common Toadflax (Linaria vulgaris), White Campion (Silene latifolia), Bladder Campion (Silene vulgaris), Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) and various hawkweeds, scabiouses and knapweeds.
Inhabits open breck grassland, flowery chalk downland and sand or shingle beaches. In the Brecks it has also been found along field margins.
- Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
- Well known from the Brecks of Norfolk and Suffolk. Also found on the Suffolk coast, Wiltshire and possibly north Hampshire. Records elsewhere are thought to represent wanderers or immigrant examples.