British Wildlife Wiki

The Sword-grass (Xylena exsoleta) is a species of moth in the Noctuidae family.


This medium sized moth is very similar to the Red Sword-grass, but is lighter, with a distinctive pale top of the wings. This species has a head which has evolved to look like a broken stick, and the oval and kidney mark are quite distinct, more distinct than that of the Red Sword-grass. This species flies in Autumn, hibernates, and flies again in Spring.

Range and habitat[]

This species is classed as Nationally Scarce B in Britain, and is restricted to moors, and woods in Ireland, Scotland and Northern England, but is scattered.


The larvae feed on Rest-harrow and other plants, and can be seen during the summer.