Agrochola helvola

Reddish Herbsteule ( Agrochola helvola )

The Reddish Herbsteule ( Agrochola helvola ) or willow Herbsteule is a butterfly (moth ) from the family of cutworms ( Noctuidae ).

  • 5.1 Literature
  • 5.2 Notes and references



The wingspan of the moth from 34 to 45 millimeters. The color spectrum of the forewing is very large and has reddish-brown, gray-green, ocher yellow or red tints on. The kidneys blemish hardly stand out from the basic color and are gray or brown stuffed down ring stain are indistinct, not to recognize Zapf blemish. Particularly striking is the band-shaped, slightly darkened area between the shaft line and outer transverse line. In addition, stand out on the shaft line from dark points. The gray-brown hind wings shimmer on the edge of bright reddish yellow.

Egg, caterpillar, pupa

The egg is initially reddish yellow and discolored before hatching in a reddish light brown color and shows white spots and a yellowish Eiboden. The caterpillars are yellow-brown or red-brown, have thin, white back and side back lines, wide, white, sharply defined side stripes and whitish point warts. The doll has two fine bristles on the cremaster.

Similar Species

  • A certain similarity to Reddish Yellow Herbsteule ( Agrochola circellaris ), but has mostly tending more towards the yellow hues and less prominent drawn forewing. The kidneys are filled blemish below black, the wavy line is drawn inside reddish brown and the hind wings are yellow ocher and further out greyish brown on the inner edge.
  • Other similarities to other species of the genus Agrochola, eg for yellow-brown Herbsteule.

Distribution and habitat

The presence of the species extends over most of Europe, north to Scotland and Fennoscandia to beyond the Arctic Circle, south to Spain, Sicily (but it is missing in Sardinia ), Greece and further on Middle East and Central Asia to the middle of Siberia. In the mountains, she comes up to over 1400 meters before height. The Reddish Herbsteule is found in a wide variety of both dry and moist habitats such as forests, bush, mountain and valley meadows, blueberry heaths or parkland and near rivers and wetlands.

Way of life

The moths are some of the nocturnal animals. They are usually sparsely found on artificial light sources, but appear regularly and sometimes in large numbers to baits. Main flight period are the months of September and October. The caterpillars live mainly in May and June. They feed on the leaves of a variety of plants, for example by

  • Willow ( Salix),
  • Oaks (Quercus ),
  • Hazel (Corylus ),
  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa),
  • Real blackberries (Rubus fruticosus ),
  • Raspberries (Rubus idaeus ),
  • Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

And others. Before pupation in a fixed Erdhöhle they lie for weeks as Praepupa in the cocoon. The species overwinters as an egg.


The Reddish Herbsteule is widely used in Germany and area- wise proliferates, so that it is classified in the Red List of Threatened Species as not at risk.