Nutmeg (moth)


The Meldenflureule ( Anarta ( Calocestra ) trifolii ), also called Kleefeldeule or clover Owl, is a butterfly (moth ) from the family of cutworms ( Noctuidae ).


The moths have about 15 to 18 millimeters long forewings. The color of the forewing is quite variable, ranging from light brown, greenish- brown, gray-brown to blackish. The wetter the habitat, the darker the average for the population. In southern Europe and North Africa in predominantly dry climate, the front wings of the butterflies are colored mostly light brown or light reddish brown. The ring stain is bright, the kidneys blemish light above and dark below. The transverse lines are drawn in duplicate. The wavy line is centered jagged arrow with indistinct spots within the line; the serration looks like a W. The hind wings are whitish with a gray Saumfeld.

The egg is spherical with a flattened base. It yellowish with reddish brown spots in the middle zone and a red-brown tie. The surface is covered with strong longitudinal ribs.

The caterpillar is greenish or brownish with fine black spots. The segment cuts are yellowish. The topline is relatively thin and is surrounded by longitudinal strokes. In the green variant, the side lines are lined yellow and white. In the brown variant, several, fine white lines on the back and black slightly oblique strokes on each segment are formed. The relatively small head is light brown or greenish.

The doll is yellow-brown with a thorn and bristle -less, poorly developed cremaster.

  • Cabbage moth ( Mamestra brassicae), it has a spike at the end of the tibiae of the front legs.

Geographical distribution and habitat

The species is almost throughout the Palearctic and Nearctic distributed ( with the exception of the northernmost areas). You should also occur in Chile, where she was probably abducted anthropogenic. She lives in almost all types of open habitats, even in very dry habitats, sometimes even halophyte. In the Alps it occurs up to 1600 m above sea level.

Way of life

The Meldenflureule forms in Central Europe two overlapping generations, the moths fly from late April to June and June to September. In climatically favorable regions for several generations are formed. The moths are nocturnal, coming to light, and can be baited with sugar. They suck nectar. Eggs are laid in flat located to over 100 items to the underside of the leaves of the food plant or pinned. The caterpillars can be found from late June to late autumn. They live separately in Ampferarten ( Rumex ), species of genus ( Atriplex ), goose feet ( Chenopodium ), nettles (Urtica ), lettuces (Lactuca ), Artemisia and other herbaceous plants. They feed at night. Pupation takes place in a hole in the ground, the doll overwinters and can be one year.