Common in a wide range of habitats, mainly in low-lying areas, including woodland, rough meadows and gardens throughout the British Isles. Widespread and common in Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight. Wingspan 31-33 mm. Easily and frequently confused with Rustic H. blanda
, but generally H. octogenaria
has broader and rougher forewing, stigmata contrasting with remainder of forewing, and more conspicuous cross-lines (MBGBI Vol 10). The general coloration of The Rustic is brown to grey with a glossy appearance, whereas The Uncertain is ochreous brown and coarser looking, and the orbicular stigma is usually smaller in The Rustic. The hindwings are greyer and glossier in The Rustic and the stigma smaller than The Uncertain. The Uncertain flies from late May, whereas The Rustic usually appears at the end of June. See the comparison photo in the collection above.
Please note that worn specimens of either species should be aggregated, if not determined by genitalia examination. It is also recommended that inexperienced recorders aggregate the two species, unless the specimen or photo is confirmed by their County Moth Recorder or an experienced local recorder.
Larva feeds on various herbaceous plants, including Chickweed, Primrose, Dock and Plantain.