This moth can be variable in colour but its lack of distinct markings aids its identification.  The Dotted Rustic is similar but has stronger markings with dots on the forewing, whilst the Stout Dart resembles darker forms but has kidney-shaped marks and black streaks on the forewings. The Grey is similarly pale but smaller without the white fringe on the hindwing.

Can be found flying energetically in the late afternoon on sunny days. Also flies after dark.

Size and Family

  • Family – Darts, Yellow Underwings and Clays (Noctuines)
  • Large Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 34-42mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Local (only found in some areas)

Caterpillar Food Plants

A variety of herbs, including Harebell (Campanula rotundifolia), Biting Stonecrop (Sedum acre) and saxifrages, also recorded on some grasses.


Rocky habitats such as cliffs, scree and quarries.


  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
  • Confined to the coasts of south and south-western England, Wales, Man, Scotland including the Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland and Ireland.  Occurs inland in Wales, Derbyshire, Lancashire and Cumbria.
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: Declining
Northern Rustic by Keith Tailby

Northern Rustic

Northern Rustic - Garry Barlow

Northern Rustic

Northern Rustic - Tony Morris

Northern Rustic

Northern Rustic - Tony Morris

Northern Rustic

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