Dot Moth

Dot Moth

The Dot Moth (Melanchra persicariae) is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is found throughout Europe apart from the south-east.

This is a very distinctive species with very dark brown, almost black, forewings marked with a large white stigma from which the species gets its common name. The hindwings are grey with a dark band at the termen. The wingspan is 38-50 mm. It flies at night in July and August and is attracted to light, sugar and flowers.

The larva is rather variable in colour, being green, brown or even purplish. It is marked with lighter diagonal markings and has a distinctive hump at the rear end. It is polyphagous, feeding on a wide variety of plants (see list below). The species overwinters as a pupa.

  1. The flight season refers to the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range.

Recorded food plants


  • Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984

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