Lepidoptera The Garden Dart Moth – Agrotis Nigricans
This is another dingy moth, whose general appearance is so unattractive that the tyro might be inclined to neglect it. But it must not be omitted from our selection on that score, for our main object here is to give the beginner an acquaintance with those species that are most likely to be captured in the earlier part of his career, and this moth is certainly one of those that may be described as ‘abundant everywhere.’
Its fore wings are dull dark brown, often tinged with red, and clouded with black. The reniform spot is pale, the orbicular spot less distinct, and between the two there is generally a rhomboidal dark spot. There is also a short dark streak near the base of the wing, and a black spot before the orbicular. The hind wings are pale, but smoky towards the hind margin.
The caterpillar is brown and shining, with a fine pale line on the back, and a double white stripe below the spiracles. It is also dotted with black. It is exceedingly destructive, feeding on clovers (Trifolium pratense and T. repens) and various low plants in May and June.
The moth flies from June to August.