Taking flight: The Sallow

The Sallow (Cirrhia icteritia) is a Noctuid moth (Xyleninae). I’ve seen a couple of them in the actinic trap over the last few days. It’s a common species in the UK although if you spot one you might be confused by the appearance of another of the same species that does not have the same colouration. It flies in September-October and is attracted to light and sugar solutions (it has feeding mouth parts, unlike many other adult moths). Initially, the larvae (caterpillars) feed on the catkins of the sallow (more often known as willow trees, these days), hence the moth’s common name.

I videoed the specimen pictured above, briefly while it did its warmup exercises ready to take flight.

This is another Sallow specimen, note the rather different colouration from the first