Noctua comes (Lesser yellow underwing)

Last update: 21 November 2020


LOCATION: Krimpen aan den IJssel, garden


During the first garden activities in the new season I found this moth caterpillar of the Yellow lesser underwing (Noctua comes) [1] that was resting hidden behind a stacked stone wall.

Lesser yellow underwing
(Noctua comes)

Tijdens de eerste werkzaamheden in tuin in het nieuwe jaar trof ik deze rups van de nachtvlinder Volgeling (Noctua comes) [1] die, verstopt achter een stapelstenen muurtje, wat zat te rusten.

(Noctua comes)


In 2020 I found the caterpillars again in the same spot, this time a three specimen. They occupy a group of Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) plants behind the stacked wall.

I could not find a relation between the larvae and the plant on the web. Furthermore there are more of these plants in smaller groups throughout the garden but in non of them I found the larvae. The other plants are more exposed to direct sun light from most sides. This makes me wonder if it might be a microclimate preference that makes the larvae move into this particular group of plants that has a more limited sun exposure. The plants clearly trap moisture well between their long elongate and curled leaves. When the top leaves that are exposed to the sun are moved aside it is clear that the inner leaves are wet. Also many small slugs find a habitat there.

Lesser yellow underwing (Noctua comes)
Lesser yellow underwing (Noctua comes)

During repositioning of a tile this caterpillar appeared out of nowhere on the sand, I suspect was overwintering between two tiles.

Lesser yellow underwing (Noctua comes), 5th instar larva


1, "Vlinders", De Vlinderstichting

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