Powdered Rustic Hoplodrina superstes
Wingspan 32-36 mm.
The Powdered Rustic has an established population on Alderney and there are several records of vagrants in southern England. Unless alert to the possibility, a beginner could dismiss a specimen as a pale Rustic (H. octogenaria again now, vice H. alsines!) or Vine's Rustic, but any suspect should be photographed or, preferably, retained as a voucher.
The forewing of H. superstes is indeed powdered with a scattering of small but conspicuous black scales, on a paler background than either Rustic or Uncertain; the postmedian line is represented by a double row of small black dots and the hindwing is whiter than in the other two species, with a faint beige gloss which is lacking in that of the following species.
Vine's Rustic has a different wing shape, with straighter costa and the pattern is smoother. The underside of Powdered Rustic is characterised by it paler colour, conspicuous discal spot on the forewing and a minute one on the hindwing, and the costal region of the hindwing also has a powdering of small black scales.
Powdered Rustic occurs on the west coast of France, north Spain and from South-east France eastwards to the Urals, and favours warm, dry habitats and steppe. In the southern part of its range it is bivoltine, flying in May-June and again in August-September. It is usually taken a light. The larva feeds on herbaceous plants such as Rumex and Plantago, and the autumn generation overwinters.
(Description: Barry Goater)