Epipsilia grisescens (Fabricius, 1794)


Epipsilia grisescens: Adult (e.l. Vinschgau, South Tyrol 2011) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Adult (e.l. Kanisfluh 2010) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Adult (e.l. Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Adult (e.l. Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Young larva (Valais, Switzerland) [M] Epipsilia grisescens: Young larva (Valais, Switzerland) [M] Epipsilia grisescens: Young larva (Valais, Switzerland) [N] Epipsilia grisescens: Half-grown larva (Kanisfluh, 1700m above sea level, early May 2010) [M] Epipsilia grisescens: Half-grown larva (Kanisfluh, 1700m above sea level, early May 2010) [M] Epipsilia grisescens: Half-grown larva in penultimate instar (Kanisfluh, 1700m above sea level, early May 2010) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva in penultimate instar (Kanisfluh 2010) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (e.l. Kanisfluh 2010) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (e.l. Kanisfluh 2010) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (Vinschgau, South Tyrol, early April 2011) [M] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (Vinschgau, South Tyrol, April 2011) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (Vinschgau, South Tyrol, April 2011) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Fully-grown larva (Valais, 1500 m above sea level, 01.05.2007) [M] Epipsilia grisescens: Larva (prior to pupation, Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Pupa (e.l. Valais, Switzerland) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Pupa (e.l. Kanisfluh 2011) [S] Epipsilia grisescens: Larval habitat in central Valais in 1400m above sea level (April 2009) [N] Epipsilia grisescens: Habitat near Leuk (central Valais) in app. 650m above sea level [N] Epipsilia grisescens: Habitat at the Kanisfluh (Vorarlberg). I observed larvae at the rocky slope in the background in May 2010. [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feeds on grasses (Poaceae). I found many larvae for example in the Valais on Festuca vallesiaca and other Festuca species.

Habitat:
Epipsilia grisescens inhabits rocky grasslands and stony pastures. I observed the greatest density of the caterpillars on an gappy embankment in a dry grassland at 1400m above sea level in Valais in mid-April 2009, where also caterpillars of Lasionycta proxima occurred. Epipsilia grisescens is found on both lime and silica, although in the latter areas often higher abundances are reached than in calcareous regions.

Life cycle:
The young caterpillar or the egg hibernates (according to literature). I found many larvae in April and May in several sites in the Valais and in the Bregenzer Wald (western Austrian Alps). They hide during the day at the base of the preferred grass clumps. The older caterpillars should also dig superficially. The moths fly from late June to August.

Remarks:
Epipsilia grisescens is restricted to the mountains of Europe and Scandinavia, and occurs for example in the Pyrenees, the Alps, in Italy, the Balkans, the Black Forest or very rare in the western Swabian Alb.


German version / deutsche Version