Cucullia umbratica (Linnaeus, 1758)


Cucullia umbratica: Adult (e.l. Memmingen 2013/2014) [S] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (e.l. Memmingen 2013/2014) [S] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (e.l. Memmingen 2013/2014) [S] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (e.l. Memmingen 2013/2014) [S] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (e.l. Memmingen 2013/2014) [S] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (e.l. Memmingen 2013/2014) [S] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (Memmingen, Southern Germany, June 2012) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (Memmingen, Southern Germany, June 2012) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, S-Germany, June 2014) [N] Cucullia umbratica: Adult (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, S-Germany, June 2014) [N] Cucullia umbratica: Adult at Lonicera in a garden (Memmingen, Southern Germany, June 2012) [N] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, early August 2013) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, early August 2013) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, early August 2013) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (east Pyrenees, Canigou, 1800m asl, mid-October 2013) [N] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, October 2013) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, October 2013) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (Illerbeuren near Memmingen, October 2013) [M] Cucullia umbratica: Larva (Memmingen, Southern Germany) [M] Cucullia umbratica: The species reproduces mostly in mesophilic meadows (Baden-Württemberg, June 2011) [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on herbaceous Asteraceae like Taraxacum or Cichorium intybus.

Habitat:
Cucullia umbratica inhabits slightly dry to slightly wet (i.e. especially mesophilic) meadows and pastures. The moth has much less requirements than Cucullia lucifuga and can also colonize intensive meadows yet. But even this species can not survive in extreme manure fields.

Life cycle:
The moths fly in a single generation from May to August with a focus in June/July. The caterpillars are found mostly in July and August. In 2013 I observed some larvae even until late October. I found them crawling over roads by day in hot weather. In general the larvae are active by night. The pupa overwinters.

Endangerment factors:
Due to the severe intensification of grassland this species has declined in recent decades. Nevertheless, it remains the most common Cucullia-species in Central Europe because of the rather small habitat requirements and the tolerance of mowing (caterpillars are usually hidden near the ground by day).

Remarks:
The dstribution ranges across almost all of Europe and temperate Asia to Mongolia.



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