Setaceous Hebrew Character – Xestia C-nigrum

This week’s moth is one I’ve come across quite frequently when setting up a moth trap overnight, and is quite an easy one to identify as the Setaceous Hebrew Character, Xestia c-nigrum. It gets it’s somewhat unusual name from the black marking halfway down each wing, which resembles the hebrew character nun, while the epithet setaceous refers to it’s bristly hairs.

The Setaceous Hebrew Character can be found in a wide variety of habitats including woodland, grassland, heathland and marshes. They typically have two broods in the South West, flying in May and June, and then August and September.

It’s larvae feed on a similarly wide range of plants, but can often be found on different species of nettles… and it’s worth noting that letting a patch of these grow up in your garden might well be the next best thing you can do for wildlife after installing a small pond!

By Chris Eyles, Senior Warden for Exmoor

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