Unidentified (noctuid?) larva

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Unidentified (noctuid?) larva

I spotted this huge larva resting vertically on beech log at Flatropers Wood in East Sussex today. It was almost as big as a hawkmoth caterpillar. I think it must be a noctuid but it's way bigger than Copper Underwing larvae so all I can think it can be is an Old Lady. It's clearly not a Red Underwing or any other Catocla sp., there just aren't any other noctuids that big. Any ideas?


Looks possible for Broad-bordered Yellow Underwing, those twin white spots on the black spiracles are quite distinctive as far as I know.

Thanks Martin! I did look

Thanks Martin! I did look that one up in Porter but it didn't look right. A quick Google search and I see you are spot on! Cheers.


Porter's book may not be perfect, but it's the best there is, isn't it?! My usual process is to browse Porter to narrow down the possibilities, and then check against the much more detailed photos on UKleps. UKleps has much clearer photos, but is hopeless for browsing. Porter's photos are too small, but can be browsed. Neither do a particularly good job of letting you know what the similar species and and how to distinguish them :(


But that's easy for me to say, I've never managed to produce a sell-out identification guide to anything!


Gibster (not verified)
I spent several years in the

I spent several years in the company of Jim Porter. Quite a few beers too! I quite clearly remember him saying he was over the moon when his book was finally published. I can also quite clearly remember him saying how he wished he'd never started the bloody thing, lol :D


I can only guess at the amount of effort it must have taken to put that book together, amazing stuff! Very glad he did it though. And likewise, Reg Fry and colleagues have invested enormous amounts of time in the UKleps site. Big respect due all round!

Oddly, I totally agree with

Oddly, I totally agree with both of you! It's very easy to totally miss your species becasue the photos are so small. BUT, it's the only place where you can compare similar species in one place. Last night I got Feathered Thorn larvae to species in about three minutes. If only 'they' produced an A3 pocket version...