Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Agrotis venerabilis Walker, 
phylogenetic sequence # 933516.
Explanation of Names
VENERABILIS: a Latin word, from the root "venerari" (to reverence, worship, adore [on account of age or historic or religious associations]); probably a reference to the white-haired or gray-haired appearance of the adult, making it look old
Twenty-three species are found in America north of Mexico.(1)
Adult: tegulae (scales in "shoulder" area) whitish in male, pale gray in female, giving the appearance of old age; thorax brown with darker brown collar; forewing grayish to yellowish-brown; orbicular spot long & narrow with thin black outline; claviform spot a black dash; blackish shading along costa usually extends down over reniform spot but rarely reaches apex; two smaller black patches in terminal area
[adapted from description by Charles Covell]
Larva: head dark brown; body brown above, yellowish below
All of United States plus coast to coast in southern Canada.
Adults fly from late August to October.
Larvae feed on alfalfa, chickweed, clover, corn, oats, tobacco, and various other plants.
Overwinters as a larva in the soil.
This point of male anatomy could use some explanation:
flies in May and June in far northern forests; its thorax is darker, and its forewing orbicular spot is oval (compare images
of both species at CBIF)
Agrotis volubilis and A. stigmosa also fly in May/June, not September/October
Lafontaine J. D., and B. C. Schmidt 2010. Annotated check list of the Noctuoidea (Insecta, Lepidoptera) of North America North of Mexico. p. 107.(1)
Lafontaine, J. D., 2004. Moths of America North of Mexico, Fascicle 27.1. p. 239; pl. K.30-34.(2)
Moth Photographers Group
- range map, photos of larvae, living and pinned adults.
BOLD - Barcode of Life Data Systems
- collection map and photos of pinned adults.
live adult images
plus description, foodplants, flight season (Lynn Scott, Ontario)
live adult image
and food plants (Larry Line, Maryland)
distribution in Canada
list of provinces (U. of Alberta, using CBIF data)