Epicnaptera ilicifolia Linnaeus, on wing April 17, remarkably early for the season



a glimpse of  photographs

Please enjoy!

Göran Waldeck

Parnassius nordmanni Eduard Petrovich Ménétriés 1850

April 17, Parnassius nordmanni  larva , almost full-grown,  here feeding from Corydalis cava

leaves. I have noticed it is hard to change food for nordmanni larvae. If you start with one species of

Corydalis, you can not change to another species of Corydalis. At least it has not worked for me.

May 12,  the pupa  now is resting in its spun,  yellowish,  cocoon-like case

For comparison - a male from 2004

In the morning June 6,  a striking female emerged

Parnassius mnemosyne weidingeri Bryk & Eisner 1932

Parnassius mnemosyne weidingeri larva,  resting on a dry leaf of Quercus robur.

Foodplant this time: the same as  for sp. nordmanni,  Corydalis cava.

 A weidingeri female resting. May 27.

Cerura vinula Linnaeus 1758

Dicranura vinula female has been on wing a lot already

The male has more transparent forewings

Second instar vinula larva on Populus tremula. First instar skin is left behind on the leaf

Right: Fourth instar vinula larvae consuming tremula leaves, June 12

Cerura erminea Esper 1783

The male is a bit smaller and has black hairy antennae.

Erminea female just emerged sitting on her cocoon, June 9. Ermina is smaller, has more white ground colour and will emerge later in the season than its close relative Cerura vinula shown above. Erminea  occurs rarely in Central Europe and has only one brood a year.

Above: Just hatched from the eggs the erminea larvae are having their first meal on top of a Populus tremula leaf. The larvae are slender, measuring about 5.5  mms including the forked tail which is about 2.5 mms nearly as long as the black body itself. July 1.

The fat and full-grown erminea larva is turning reddish and now ready to pupate

Almost full-grown erminea larve, beautifully patterned, not unlike its close relative vinula. Aug 1.

Finally - Sept 19 - a stiff cocoon is attached to a twig keeping the pupa inside

Drymonia ruficornis Hufnagel 1766

Drymonia ruficornis, resting on a trunk, almost invisible daytime

Canephora unicolor Hufnagel 1766

Canephora unicolor larva in its bag; unicolor might be found

especially in swampy areas. It hibernates in its house, the bag.

Best foodplant is probably trees or bushes belonging to the Salix family.

Dictyploca carchara Moore

Dictyploca/Caligula carchara; a female just mated and has already laid a bunch of eggs

Hybocanpa milhauseri Fabricius 1775

Hybocampa milhauseri is rarely encountered in or area. This female specimen was attracted by light. A  couple of years ago a milhauseri female was found on the very same spot.

The male came some days later...

Seven enlarged milhauseri eggs hemisphericly formed; original size about 1mm,  dark yellow coloured.

First stage flesh-coloured milhauseri larva measuring 3 mms only, hiding beneath a leaf of its foodplant, Quercus robur. Mother is shown to the left above. June 5.

Enlarged milhauseri larva ,June 12,  on an oak leaf;  the reddish colour is now converted into green, blue and brown; size is now 9 mms.

Right: almost full-grown milhauseri larva on an oak leaf, July 6; its shape and pattern is quite unusual, on the surface of the green skin you can see small white dots; size 3, 5 cms.

Peridea anceps Goeze 1781

Peridea anceps is quite common in groves of old oaks

Above is a female with its typical pattern.

Pterostoma palpinum Clerck 1579

Pterostoma palpina Clerck 1759. This moth species might sometimes produce two broods a year.

Iodis putata Linnaeus 1758

Guided by female pheromones a Iodis putata male found the source ...now the putata couple is mating on a bed of dry oak leaves...

...and after some hours they suddenly split up...

...and finally the male experience lonelyness. She swiftly flew away to lay her eggs,  preferably on Vaccinium myrtillus Linnaeus leaves

Euproctis chrysorrhoea Linnaeus 1758

Euproctis chrysorrhoea Linnaeus larva has two characteristic red dots on its back; here feeding on Pyrus malus

The larva is spinning its cocoon within a malus leaf, June 12

Adult chrysorrhoea female emerged July 18.

Catocala electa Borkhausen 1792

Catocala electa Borkhausen larva measuring 20 mms on Salix caprea.

Hyles lineata livornica Esper 1779

Last instar Hyles lineata livornica larva on Rumex acetosa. May, 21.

The larva is nicely patterned - reminding of a baby snake - in yellow and black.

A female adult emerged July 18.

Eudia pavonia Linnaeus 1758

Eudia pavonia young larvae measuring 4-5 mms , at first black and spiny, then with brownish stripes, at last turning into green with lilac tubercles. Initial appropriate food plant: Vaccinium myrtillus as above or Calluna vulgaris. In later stages leaves of Prunus successfully might be used.   

Third stage hairy and spiny pavonia larva resting on a prunus twig, June 12

Mimas tiliae Linnaeus 1758

Mimas tiliae larva, 10 mms of length, resting behind a leaf of Tilia cordata.

A month later the larva is much bigger but has still small wartes all over the body, some larvae however,  lack the reddish spots

When the tilia larva is full-grown, it stops eating, descends to the ground and pupates in the soil only a couple of cms from the surface without a cocoon. All colours have turned in much paler tones; it is even slightly rosy underneath. July2.

Saturnia pyri Denis & Schiffermüller 1775

Young pyri larva, 9 mms,  on a leaf of Prunus. June 9

Right: At next instar the larva turns into a green ground colour, lilac feet and yellow hairy tubercles, measuring now 20 mms, June 15

Dasychira pudibunda Linnaeus 1758

Pudibunda is frequent in woods of foliioferus trees, the male is seen more often...

...than the female, which is much larger with a different pattern.

Pudibunda larva 4 mms, in the second instar. First instar skin is left to the right on the pic. The first meal

consists of the back side of a Populus tremula leaf which also offers an excellent hiding-place.

The very same larva as above; a new stage has begun, the old skin is left again. Length now 9 mms.

The larva is extremely hairy but has still a black line in the middle.

The pudibunda larva now is almost full-grown, Aug 29

Panthea coenobita Esper 1785


Coenobita is a beautifully patterned black and white moth;

the larvae feed from pine trees.

                                                     Lasiocampa quercus Linnaeus 1758

The quercus larva changes a lot in appearance and colour during its growth.

Foodplant obvious: Pyrus malus. The larva here in last instar, June 18.

This quercus chocolade coloured male  - some worn  - came from the wild,  

attracted by a bred female. Now the male is relaxing after pairing.

Soon he will fly away to seek for another interesting object to mate. July 10.

Mating time for quercus is normally 2-3 hrs.

                                Sphinx pinastri Linnaeus 1758

Pinastri larvae are mainly green and brown patterned and feed on pine trees;  full-grown they  pupate on the ground where they hibernate. Here the hawkmoth has just emerged and is drying its wings.. The photograph is showing a female specimen. June 26.

Now drying is finished and the wings are resting in the typical position of a member of the sphingidae family.

Callophrys rubi Linnaeus 1758

Callophrys rubi larva found  beneath a leaf - also foodplant - of Rubus chamaemorus Linnaeus. July 10.

 July 20, the larva just pupated and the larva skin is left. The pupa is almost transparent.

(The adult male emerged later 2008, May 2)

Hyles galii Rottemburg, 1775

Hyles galii larva feeding on Epilobium angustifolium leaves, Oct 3

Rarely the larva is black with bright yellow spots

Pericallia matronula Linnaeus 1758

P matronula larvae feeding well on ligustrum leaves

Woolly  brown P matronula larva, last stage

Automeris naranja Schaus, 1898

Automeris naranja larva resting on a  ligustrum twig is equipped with poisonous spines , Oct 24

Copyright © 2004 Göran Waldeck All rights reserved

Last updated Oct 24, 2007