The Moths of Suffolk
2085 Archer's Dart, Agrotis vestigialis, (Hufnagel, 1766)

National Status : Local

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 1)

Distribution and abundance : Common in heathland areas

Habitats : Coastal habitats, heathland, fens, grassland

Flight Period : Single-brooded; mid-June to September

Larval foodplants : Various herbaceous plants

Morley's Final Catalogue : Like Portland Moth, this occurs throughout the Breck as well as along our more normal east coast and its creeks. The two species' presence at comparatively high points up the valley of the Gipping doubtless represents their survival there, like the Bee Dasypoda hirtipes, Ltr., since the time that that river was salt ; indeed, Barrett considered (Tr. Norf. Nat. Sec. i, 35) the present Noctuid to have "existed unchanged on the ancient coast sands of Thetford and Brandon from the time of the later post-glacial epoch." Felixstow at sugar in 1894 (Mera), in plenty and variable in 1901-3 (Gibbs); Hemley in 1901 (Wlr); Martlesham (D); Aldeburgh; Southwold at light in 1900 (Mly); Covehithe (Gd), Lowestoft, Beccles; frequent at Gorleston (Mr). Lakenheath in August 190 (Mly); Brandon (Barrett), among Echium vulgare in June 1921 (D); Tuddenham, at light in June-July 1888-9 (Vivian). Also recorded from Needham in the Gipping valley.

Wingspan details : Forewing 14-18mm, Wingspan 30-40mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultCoast Dart, Euxoa cursoria
Wood's Dart, Agrotis graslini
Spalding's Dart, Agrotis herzogi
Sand Dart, Agrotis ripae

Compare confusion species
    Adult

Click to view full size image
Iken Cliff, Suffolk (27.vi.2008) © Paul Kitchener

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
13 43 100 11

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
larva larva larva larva larva pupa imago imago ovalarvaimago larva larva larva

Further Photographs

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Minsmere, Suffolk (viii.2003) © N Sherman
Thetford (18.viii.2002) © L Gregory
Bawdsey, Suffolk (11.viii.2009) © Matthew Deans
 
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Elveden, Thetford Forest, Suffolk (3.ix.2011) © Neil Sherman
Southwold, Suffolk (28.vi.2012) © A Prichard
Dunwich, Suffolk (9.viii.2015) © Paul Kitchener