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The Herald moth in moonlight

The herald (Scoliopteryx libatrix) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found throughout the Palearctic and Nearctic (Holarctic). The herald's flight period is between June and November, in one or two broods. During the winter the herald moth hibernates in dark, cool structures (e.g. cellars, barns and caves), returning to take wing again from March to June. Its habitat is woodland parks and gardens, and (perhaps consequently) the resting wing pattern resembles a dead, shriveled leaf. Wingspan of about 44 mm. Wings ample; the forewing angled in middle of termen, concave between the angle and the acute apex. Forewing grey mixed with ochreous, with fuscous striae, posteriorly with a rosy tinge: the veins terminally whitish; an irregular median suffusion reaching from base to middle, orange red more or less mixed with yellow; inner and outer lines pale with dark edges; a white spot at base on median vein; a white dot represents the orbicular stigma; reniform formed of two black dots; hindwing fuscous, paler at base; ab. suffusa Tutt is a scarce dark form without the usual rosy tinge in the terminal area of forewing;ab. pallidior Spul. includes pale whitish grey looking examples; while pallida Spul. refers to pale more yellowish specimens from Turkestan.

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