Arctia festiva (Hufnagel, 1766)


Arctia festiva: Female (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) Arctia festiva: Female (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female after eclosion (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female after eclosion (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female after eclosion (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female after eclosion (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female (breeding ex Hungary) [S] Arctia festiva: Female (breeding ex Hungary) [S] Arctia festiva: Adult, freshly emerged [S] Arctia festiva: Female-lower side [S] Arctia festiva: Male (breeding ex Hungary) [S] Arctia festiva: Female (Askio mountains, Northern Greece, May 2011). Obviously the animal had a fight with a predator (perhaps bird) in which the wings have been damaged. [M] Arctia festiva: Ovae (Askio mountains 2011) [S] Arctia festiva: L1-larva (e.o. Askion, Northern Greece 2011) [S] Arctia festiva: L2-larva (e.o. Askion 2011) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva (e.o. Askion 2011) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva (e.o. Askion 2011) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva (e.o. Askion 2011) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva, aestivation instar (e.o. rearing, N-Greece, Askio Mountains, 2011) [S] Arctia festiva: Young larva (Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, late May 2017) [M] Arctia festiva: Young larva (Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Young larva (Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva in the aestivation instar (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva in autumn (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva in autumn (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Half-grown larva in autumn (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva after hibernation, penultimate instar (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva after hibernation, penultimate instar (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larva (ex Hungary) [S] Arctia festiva: Female pupa (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Female pupa (e.l. rearing, Central Greece, Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, young larva in late May 2017) [S] Arctia festiva: Larval habitat, under such Alyssum plants have been found most young larvae, at several separate sites (Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, late May 2017)  [N] Arctia festiva: Larval habitat, under such Alyssum plants have been found most young larvae, at several separate sites (Arachova near Delphi, 1000m, late May 2017) [N] Arctia festiva: Habitat in Northern Greece (female record): steppe-like slope in the Askio mountains, May 2011. [N]

Host plants:
The larvae are polyphagous.

Habitat:
Arctia festiva inhabits mostly rocky or stony grasslands and sandy fallow land in lowlands or medium high mountains (often less than 600m above sea level, in Southern Europe up to more than 1000m above sea level). Arctia festiva is a continental steppe species that needs summer heat and drought, but also can withstand cold winters.

Life cycle:
The moth flies in one generation from mid-April to early July. In the Askion Mountains (Northern Greece), I found a female in mid-May 2011. Near Delphi (Central Greece) I recorded many young larvae under stones (especially under Alyssum plants) already in late May 2017. The still quite young larva (mostly L3) aestivates in midsummer for several months. In autumn it feeds again until hibernation. Afterwards the caterpillar grows up until April or early May. In the South it is already mature in March.

Endangerment factors:
In Central Europe, Arctia festiva is already extinct due to habitat destruction. The economical useless fallow land habitats have been transferred into monetarily more meaningful usages (forestry, agriculture, overbuilding). But besides this main cause you should also consider, that natural fluctuations and climate may play a role with such species occurring at the very edge of their total distribution area.

Remarks:
The final observation in Germany was made in 1977 (East Germany). Today, the total distribution extends from Spain through Southern Europe to East Asia. In May 2011, I found Arctia festiva, for example, in Northern Greece in Askio Mountains near Siatista and in late May 2017 I recorded many young larvae near Delphi on the Southern slopes of Mount Parnass.



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