Sirhowy Hill Woodlands

Scientific name: Agrotis exclamationis

Heart and Dart

Two generations, most commonly from mid-May to early August with another second generation in September. Common to England, Wales and Ireland, less frequent in Scotland at the north of its range.


Most easily recognisable by the dark blackish shallow-V band across the collar when viewed from the front. The wings can vary in colour from pale or greyish brown to dark brown or even blackish; the paler examples are usually males and females are generally darker. The central dart mark is narrow and a solid black.


The adults regularly come to light, often in large numbers. The caterpillars can be found from July to the following spring, feeding until October and then overwintering as fully grown larvae in underground cells where it also pupates.

What does the Heart and Dart eat?

The Heart and Dart eats a wide range of wild and cultivated herbaceous plants including Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolate) and Fat-hen (Chenopodium alblum).

What habitat does the Heart and Dart live in?

The Heart and Dart is found in all habitats except at high altitude. Most abundant in arable farmland, pasture and gardens.

What family does the Heart and Dart belong to?

The Heart and Dart belongs to the Noctuidae family.

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Scientific Name

Agrotis exclamationis


England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland


Medium Sized

Wingspan Range: 30-38mm


One of the most abundant larger moths in Great Britain.

Other Wildlife