Aulocera circe (Fabricius, 1775)


Aulocera circe: Adult (N-Greece, Askio mountains near Siatista, late June 2013) [N] Aulocera circe: Adult (N-Greece, Askio mountains near Siatista, late June 2013) [N] Aulocera circe: Adult (N-Greece, Askio mountains near Siatista, late June 2013) [N] Aulocera circe: Male (N-Greece, Grevena, late June 2013) [N] Aulocera circe: The species falls often victim to traffic as especially the males often fly low above the asphalt and collide with cars (N-Greece, Grevena, late June 2013)  [N] Aulocera circe: Despite their size especially males sometimes fall victim to crab spiders (N-Greece, Siatista, late June 2013) [N] Aulocera circe: Female (N-Greece, Siatista, late June 2013) [N] Aulocera circe: Lower side [N] Aulocera circe: Adult, killed by traffic (Greece) [N] Aulocera circe: Half-grown larva (Provence, France, April 2010) [M] Aulocera circe: Half-grown larva [M] Aulocera circe: Half-grown larva [S] Aulocera circe: Larva after the last moult (Provence, France) [S] Aulocera circe: Larva after the last moult  [S] Aulocera circe: Larva [S] Aulocera circe: Larva lateral [M] Aulocera circe: Larva [M] Aulocera circe: Larva prior to pupation [S] Aulocera circe: Larva [S] Aulocera circe: Larva [S] Aulocera circe: Larva [S] Aulocera circe: Larva [S] Aulocera circe: Pupa [S] Aulocera circe: Pupa [S] Aulocera circe: Habitats are most often somewhat higher growing areas with woody portion such as here near Thessaloniki in Northern Greece (late June 2013) [N] Aulocera circe: Habitat in the northern Greek Askio mountains near Siatista in late June 2013 [N] Aulocera circe: Habitat in N-Greece north of Kastoria along an oak forest edge (late June 2013) [N]

Host plants:
The larva feeds on grasses such as Bromus erectus.

Habitat:
Aulocera circe inhabits grassland complexes with trees, lean and also higher growing areas. The caterpillars live more in areas with vigorous, moderately dense growth.

Life cycle:
Hibernation takes place as a young caterpillar (L2, L1 according to literature). I found half to fully-grown caterpillars in May in the Susa valley at 1000m altitude in denser vegetation on Bromus erectus. The adults are on the wing between June and September with peak in July and early August.

Endangerment: strongly endangered

Endangerment factors:
This species needs large habitats or a dense network of habitat islands with the suitable mosaic of the different areas. North of the Alps of the moth is very rare and local. South of the Alps, Aulocera circe is usually more common.

Remarks:
The distribution extends across Southern and Central Europe and temperate Asia to the Himalaya.