An abundant species that is variable in colour and sometimes pattern. The pale, or pale-outlined square kidney-mark is a conspicuous diagnostic character and only obscured in particularly dark examples. Fine dark cross-lines are usually visible, sometimes forming a series of small dark dots or dashes.

Winter is spent as a caterpillar where they feed at night from September through to April but only during mild weather. Once fully grown in March, the caterpillars spend up to six weeks in an underground cocoon before pupating.

Flight Season

There is one generation that flies from late July to early October, with a peak that lasts from late August to early September.

Size and Family

  • Family – Noctuidae
  • Small Sized
  • Wingspan Range – 32-35mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common Resident

Caterpillar Food Plants

The caterpillar feeds mainly on grasses, but also herbaceous plants such as plantains and cleavers.

Habitat

Can be found in all types of grassland, including gardens, pasture and woodland rides, but not at high altitude.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Well distributed and common throughout the British Isles
Square-spot Rustic - Vlad Proklov

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic - Garry Barlow

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic - Peter Maton

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic - Vlad Proklov

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic - Peter Maton

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic - Ben Sale

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic - Vlad Proklov

Square-spot Rustic

Square-spot Rustic (caterpillar) - Lez Round

Square-spot Rustic (caterpillar)