The Moths of Suffolk
2439 Gold Spot, Plusia festucae, (Linnaeus, 1758)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Resident (SMP Status 2)

Distribution and abundance : Local, common in fen areas in east of county

Habitats : Fens, damp meadows, heathland, damp woodland, saltmarsh

Flight Period : Double-brooded; mid-May to mid-July and larger second brood from August to September

Larval foodplants : sedges, also Yellow Iris, Branched Bur-reed and Water Plantain

Comments : Gold Spot and Lempke's Gold Spot were not distinguished in Morley's time

Morley's Final Catalogue : Broadly distributed, but usually singly and never frequent. Bentley, very rare at Ipswich (Mly) and at Waldringfield (Wlr), Aldeburgh, Leiston; Needham. Tuddenham and Barton Mills (Sparke), Mildenhall. Flying at Eupatorium flower in Thorndon Fen in 1926 (Mly); not uncommon at French marigolds in Bungay (Mn); Beccles (Mr), Fritton on sugar (Trans. ii, 88), Belton (Wiltshire), Gorleston (D).

Wingspan details : Forewing 14-19mm, Wingspan 34-46mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultLempke's Gold Spot, Plusia putnami

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Kirton (viii.2002) © M Deans

Flight chart
JFMAMJJASOND
2 23 17 100 13 1

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
larval diapause larval diapause larval diapause larva pupa imago ovalarvaimago larvapupaimago ovaimago larva larval diapause larval diapause

Further Photographs

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Carlton Marshes (30.v.2003) © A Prichard
Wales (2.vii.2005) © Lee Gregory
Found around edge of lake on marginal vegetation - Staverton lakes, Suffolk (1.v.2010) © Steve Goddard
 
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VC25 Gorleston, Suffolk (24.viii.2010) © Brian Jones
Aldeburgh, Suffolk (17.viii.2012) © Neil Sherman
Ipswich, Suffolk (26.vii.2014) © Paul Kitchener