17 July 2017 - Bright-eye

Brown-line Bright-eye (Mythimna conigera)

After a break of several years, a Brown-line Bright-eye (Mythimna conigera) has finally returned to visit Shandy Hall. It was last recorded before the blog was created so no photographs had been taken. Mythimna conigera was a welcome change from looking at the several varieties of rustic moths, as the bold, clear patterns really popped out in contrast to the light brown wings. The white 'tear-drops', one on each wing, almost shine when observed and is probably the reason for its vernacular name. This moth shouldn’t however, be confused with the more common Bright-line Brown-eye (Lacanobia oleracea). Although they look different, I find myself sometimes switching the two names with each other. It might make for a fun tongue- twister, saying the two names together five times fast.

In the same genus as the many members of the wainscot family, Mythimna is a town on the island of Lesbos. Conus, meaning a cone, and gero, meaning to carry, describe the white spots on its wing which may be in the shape of a cone.

The nocturnal larvae feed on grasses including cock’s-foot (Dactylis glomerate) and common couch (Elymus repens).

Post : Walter Chen [UPenn intern]