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Knot Grass

Acronicta rumicis

The Knot Grass is a moth of the family Noctuidae. It is distributed through the Palearctic - Europe, Western North Africa, through Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Ural mountains through Siberia, Russian Far East, Mongolia, northern China, Central Asia to Korea and Japan. In Europe lacking only in some areas of North-Western Scandinavia, Northern Scandinavia and Northern Russia. South in the Lebanon, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Cyprus, Caucasus. Also in North-Western India.

The wingspan is 34–40 mm.Forewing dark grey, varied in places with whitish; lines and shades black; outer line marked by a white spot on the submedian fold ; hindwings brownish fuscous.Chinese and Japanese examples are larger than European and in all cases darker; in particular the lower half of forewing is blacker and the white spot of outer line then often obscured — ab. ''alnoides'' Geest has the costal half of forewing grey, the inner half blackish, somewhat interrupted, with a strong black dagger-shaped mark at base and above anal angle ; superficially resembles a dark grey ''alni'' ; recorded from Freiburg in Baden. — ab. ''euphorbiae'' Steph. nec Hbn. is grey brown, with the stigmata and space between them pale; and ab. ''euphrasiae'' Steph. nee euphrasiae.Dup. is pale yellowish grey with numerous black lines and the orbicular stigma faint or obsolete, occurring in Cornwall.


The adults fly at night from May to July . They are attracted to light.

The larvae feed on a range of herbaceous plants including ''Salix caprea'', ''Urtica'', ''Rumex obtusifolius'', ''Rubus fruticosus'', ''Euphorbia cyparissias'', ''Calluna vulgaris'', ''Plantago lanceolata'', ''Centaurea jacea'', ''Taraxacum'' sect. ''Ruderalia''. etc.

Habitats: found in almost all habitats, and are all very common. In the mountains they rise up to 1500 m above sea level.

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