The Stranger Lacanobia blenna
Wingspan 36-40 mm.
Three of the four ancient records of this species in Britain were from the Isle of Wight, in 1857, 1859 and 1876, hinting that it might just possibly have been temporarily resident in the area. It is native along the shores of Western and Southern France, eastwards along the Mediterranean coast, and inland on the steppes of the extreme south-east of Europe. There is also a small inland population in Hungary. It comes freely to light and, it is said, to sugar.
The strongly zigzag "lightning-flash" subterminal line, characteristic of the genus, is sufficient to distinguish the species from pale forms of Tawny Shears (Hadena perplexa) which is also considerably smaller, and from the many forms of Flounced Rustic (Luperina testacea), in which the wing pattern is always less intricate.
The moth is bivoltine, in May-June and again in August-September. In salt marshes, the larva feeds chiefly on Atriplex spp. and along shores, also on Beta vulgaris ssp. maritima and Salsola kali.
Offspring of the late summer generation overwinter as pupae.
(Description: Barry Goater)