Xestia castanea

Gorse - heaths Bodeneule ( Xestia castanea )

The gorse - heaths Bodeneule ( Xestia castanea ), and gorse - heaths Erdeule, reddish brown Heideeule and Maroon Erdeule called, is a butterfly (moth ) from the family of cutworms ( Noctuidae ).

  • 6.1 Notes and references
  • 6.2 Literature



The moths reach a wingspan of 36-43 millimeters. On the fore wings often dominate fox -red to maroon hues. However, area way are specimens with pale ocher gray base color predominant. The kidneys blemish is filled gray black in the lower part. More drawing elements are usually indistinct, only slightly marked or absent. Thus, the risk of confusion with other species is low. The hind wings are without markings dark gray, the fringe shine brighter.

Egg, caterpillar, pupa

The whitish egg has a flat, hemispherical form with strongly wavy, but weakly developed ribs. It gets later brownish-red spots

Adults caterpillars vary greatly in the drawing and the coloring and may greenish, brown or reddish animals produce. They are characterized by a broad, sharp upward sharply demarcated, white side line. Back and side back line is indicated only weak sallow. Each segment has on the dorsal side of four small points warts. The head and pronotum are brightly colored yellow-brown, the head has a black grid pattern on the pronotum a bright center line ..

The red-brown doll shows two thorns on the cremaster.


The typical features are the black spot in the renal defect and the reddish fringes of the hind wings.

Geographical distribution and habitat

The species occurs from Scotland and Fennoscandia in the north through Central Europe to the Urals (Russia) in the east. In the Mediterranean is the kind of Morocco on the Iberian, Apennine and Balkan Peninsula as far as Turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Israel today.

The gorse - heaths Bodeneule preferably inhabits dry areas such as heaths, dwarf shrubs, slopes and semi-arid grasslands and sparse pine forests.

Way of life

The gorse - heaths Bodeneule forms a generation a year. Main flight time of nocturnal moths are the months of August and September. Visit artificial light sources as well as the bait, occasionally the flowers of heather (Erica ) or the butterfly lilac ( Budleja davidii ). The caterpillars are found from October. They are nocturnal and rest during the day in grass clumps. They feed on various plants, preferably by:

  • Wire Schmiele ( Deschampsia flexuosa )
  • Aspen (Populus tremula )
  • Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
  • Scotch broom ( Sarothamnus scoparius )
  • Heather ( Calluna vulgaris)
  • Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)
  • Dyer's broom ( Genista tintoria )
  • German broom ( Genista germanica ).

They overwinter "small" and pupate in June of the following year in a hole in the ground. The pupal period is according to Bergmann five to six weeks.


The gorse - heaths Bodeneule is usually rare in Germany and is on the Red List of endangered species in Category 2 ( high risk ) out.

Taxonomy and systematics

The species was described in 1798 by Eugen Johann Christoph Esper as Noctua castanea first time scientifically. The corresponding variability, there are numerous synonyms.