The Moths of Suffolk
2131 Square-spotted Clay, Xestia rhomboidea, (Esper, 1790)

National Status : Notable Nb

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Local

Habitats : Woodland, hedgerows, heathland, scrub on light soils

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

Larval foodplants : Not well known in the wild but has been found on Nettle, Dogs Mercury, Oxlip and Red Campion

Comments : At the sites where larvae have been found so far there generally appears to be some association with nettle growing under elm, however, one record at least was made of a larva feeding on nettle in an area where elm was absent

Morley's Final Catalogue : No more frequent than the last kind, but oftener noticed; occurs with it.. Copdock (Hocking), Bentley (Gibbs) on sugar, and sparingly on banks of Orwell at Ipswich (Mly), a few at Hemley (Wlr); Glernham Magna (Bloomfield), Needham (L), Bury (Skepper) ; Henham (Btn), Bungay (Mn), Beccles (Crf), Fritton in August (Ml).

Wingspan details : Forewing 17-20mm, Wingspan 37-44mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultBarred Chestnut, Diarsia dahlii
Purple Clay, Diarsia brunnea
Triple-spotted Clay, Xestia ditrapezium
Double Square-spot, Xestia triangulum

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Bred from larva found in March 2003 - Kenton hills, Suffolk (vi.2003) © N Sherman

Flight chart
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5 100 3

Life history chart
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Further Photographs

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Kenton Hills (16.viii.2002) © N Sherman
Larva - Exning (2.iv.2004) © N Sherman
Found by torchlight at night on Nettle - Kenton hills, Suffolk (iii.2003) © N Sherman
 
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Rendham (16.viii.2002) © L Gregory
Bawdsey, Suffolk (17.viii.2009) © Matthew Deans
Ipswich, Suffolk (2.ix.2011) © Neil Sherman
 
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Dunwich, Suffolk (4.viii.2012) © Paul Kitchener