Common Rustic
Animals, Moths

Scientific name: Mesapamea secalis

July to August. Common and well distributed throughout Britain.

An extremely variable moth from yellowish brown to greyish or reddish brown, blackish brown or black. A kidney mark on the forewing is always visible and at least partly outlined in white. This species is impossible to distinguish from the Lesser Common Rustic and Remm’s Rustic without referring to the genitalia.

The larvae can be found from September to the following May feeding inside plant stems, moving to new ones as they grow and then pupates underground.

England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
Specific name:
Mesapamea secalis
Found in a wide range of grassy places
Wingspan Range – 24-32mm
Small sized
Common and well distributed throughout the British Isles

Size and Family

  • Family – Arches, brindles, minors, rustics and allies (Noctuidae)
  • Small sized
  • Wingspan Range – 24-32mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed
  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

A range of grasses including Cock’s-foot (Dactylis glomeratus), Tall Fescue (Festuca arundinacea), Tufted Hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa) and cereal crops.


Found in a wide range of grassy places including gardens, farmland, heathland, calcareous grassland and woodland.