Cucullia xeranthemi Boisduval, 1840


Cucullia xeranthemi: Adult [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Adult (e.l. Valais, Switzerland) [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Young larva (lower Valais, September 2009) [M] Cucullia xeranthemi: Half-grown larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Parasitized caterpillar with an Ichneumonidae larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Larva cranial [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Pupa [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Aster linosyris, the host plant [S] Cucullia xeranthemi: Habitat in the Swiss lower Valais, September 2009 [N] Cucullia xeranthemi: Habitat in the Swiss Valais, September 2009 [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillars feed on Aster linosyris.

Habitat:
Cucullia xeranthemi colonizes steppe-like slopes and higher growing, warm nutrient-poor grasslands.

Life cycle:
The pupa hibernates. The moths fly from May to early September in two generations. The caterpillars are likely to be found already in June/July. But they are usually observed only in September/October. They live on the stems and leaves, and are excellent camouflaged there. In Valais, I found young caterpillars in mid-September 2009.

Endangerment: threatened with extinction

Endangerment factors:
In the few Central European locations, Cucullia xeranthemi is threatened with extinction. The cause is primarily that the sites were pushed back mainly by the sprawling vineyards on such small residual areas that already natural population fluctuations and random events could mean the end.

Remarks:
The distribution ranges from Northern Spain through Southern Europe and Asia Minor to western Siberia. In Central Europe there are only small relict sites (Valais, Kaiserstuhl, Rhine/ Mosel/Nahe region, Regensburg etc.).



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