Seq # 901760120

Xylena vetusta (Hübner, 1813) Species

Last modified: Sept. 21, 2023, 4:24 p.m.

An extremely rare, very local and declining species in Belgium. Only a few scattered observations after 1980.


Family: Noctuidae > Subfamily: Xyleninae > Tribus: Xylenini > Genus: Xylena > Subgenus: Xylena > Species: Xylena vetusta
Vernacular names
Houtkleurige vlinder (NL), Red Sword-grass (EN), L'Antique (FR), Braune Moderholzeule (DE)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1844. Énumération des insectes Lépidoptères de la Belgique. — Mémoires de la Société royale des Sciences de Liége 2: 1–35. On page 13.




Wingspan: 50–57 mm.

Museum specimens

Specimens in nature


The larva is active during day and night and it pupates in a loose cocoon underground. The larva can rest several months in the cocoon prior to pupation.
Overwinters as an adult under loose bark or in other sheltered situations.
The adults are active from dusk and later they come to light and sugar.

No pictures yet!

Flight periods

The adults fly in one generation a year: from mid-August till mid-October and after hibernation again from mid-March till late May.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Myrica gale, Calluna vulgaris, Iris pseudacorus, Juncus effusus, Juncus conglomeratus and Polygonum aviculare
Deciduous trees, Shrubs, Herbaceous plants and Grasses

The larva lives on a variety of woody and herbaceous plants and scrubs like Myrica gale, Calluna vulgaris, Iris pseudacorus, Juncus effusus, Juncus conglomeratus, Polygonum aviculare etc...

No pictures yet!


It inhabits woodland edges, riparian areas and extensive meadows and pastures, which are often more moist but not always.

No pictures yet!