Eilema palliatella (Scopoli, 1763)


Eilema palliatella: Adult [S] Eilema palliatella: Adult [S] Eilema palliatella: Adult [S] Eilema palliatella: Adult [S] Eilema palliatella: Larva [N] Eilema palliatella: Larva [N] Eilema palliatella: Larva [S] Eilema palliatella: Larva [S] Eilema palliatella: Larva (Northern Greece, Askion, July 2010) [N] Eilema palliatella: Larva [S] Eilema palliatella: Larva [S] Eilema palliatella: Larva [N] Eilema palliatella: Larva [S] Eilema palliatella: Habitat in Northern Greece: xerothermic, grazed and stony slope. July 2011. [N]

Host plants:
Primarily the caterpillars feed on dead plants, lichens and mosses, and also occasionally flowers and still green parts of plants.

Habitat:
As habitat often serve very hot, stony to rocky grasslands. In Central Europe Eilema palliatella used to occur often on so-called soil lichen societies, in the south it lives also in dry grasslands of all kinds without significant lichen proportion.

Life cycle:
The wintered caterpillar is mature quite late (June to August). I found caterpillars for example in the Susa Valley (Piedmont) at 500m above sea level and in the surviving remnants of the South Tyrol steppe slopes between May to August quite numerous. In Greece and the French Provence, the larvae are quite common in nearly all lowland dry grassland complexes.

The caterpillar is adapted to extreme heat, which already betrays its bright coloration. They sit on a hot day higher in the vegetation in order to escape the greater heat on ground level.

The moths are on the wing from July to September.

Endangerment: strongly endangered

Endangerment factors:
North of the AlpsEilema palliatella is severly threatened or already extinct due to the areal decline of extremely hot, only sparsely vegetated grasslands (in part due to eutrophication caused by air pollution and lack of grazing, also often extension of vineyards).

South of the Alps, Eilema palliatella is still not so endangered due to its wide distribution and in spite of the general loss of habitat because of human acttivities of all kinds.

Remarks:
The distribution ranges from Spain across Southern and Central Europe to Central Asia. In Germany it is still found primarily in hot, steep slopes along rivers such as in the Upper Main Valley in Northern Bavaria.



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