Trachea atriplicis

(Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Subfamily: Xyleninae, Dypterygiini
  • Wingspan: 41-47 mm
  • Flight period: May - Nov
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Polyphagous


The Trachea atriplicis also called Orache Moth is a moth of the Noctuidae family, subfamily Xyleninae, with wingspan of 45-52 mm.
It is present throughout Europe with the exception of Iceland, Ireland and northern and southern European Russia .. *
Its range extends east through the Palaearctic ecozone to Japan.
In Italy it is present in Sicily but not in Sardinia. *

The front wings of the Trachea atriplicis have a characteristic brown or hazelnut livery with very bright olive green streaks; a white wavy line divides the post-discal region, which tends to be brown with green areas, from the submarginal one, with a prevalence of green areas.
Two bright olive green stigmata are present in the discoid cell and in the median area; a white spot also starts from the discoid cell, very evident that it ends in a dovetail in the submarginal region in correspondence with a series of brown lunulae, slightly outlined in black, which follow the trend of the previously mentioned white line.

The hind wings are light brown with a tendency to become almost white in the basal region. The edge is fringed.
Head, thorax are in the background color of the front wings, the abdomen has the color of the hind wings with moderate hair. The Trachea atriplicis has two generations a year, the first in the period between May and June, the second between July and October. ***
The maximum attendance is recorded in the month of July.
The Trachea atriplicis often reproduces in rather humid ruderal areas, on the banks of rivers and along forest paths and / or forest edges, sometimes even in meadows. It overwinters at the pupa stage.

The larva is purplish brown in color, sometimes with a green hue with blackish dorsal and subdorsal lines and faint oblique lateral stripes; pinkish white spiracular lines, darker on the upper side. Head and legs are ocher / orange. Two spots are clearly visible lateral yellow in the vicinity of the last segment.

The chrysalis is brown in color, with four appendages on the cremaster, the two central ones thicker and longer.

The larva is polyphagous and feeds mainly on Atriplex, Rumex, Polygonium, Convolvulus, but has also been recorded on other species such as Urtica.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p. 125

Trachea atriplicis
Trachea atriplicis
Trachea atriplicis
Trachea atriplicis
Trachea atriplicis
Trachea atriplicis
Trachea atriplicis