Euchalcia variabilis (Piller, 1783)


Euchalcia variabilis: Adult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2013) [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Adult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Adult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Adult [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Adult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Adult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Young larva (eastern Swabian Alb, early May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Half-grown larva [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Half-grown larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva in penultimate instar (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Pupa (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2013) [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Pupa (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2013) [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Pupa (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb 2013) [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Pupa [S] Euchalcia variabilis: Leaf shelter of a young larva late April (eastern Swabian Alb) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Shelter of a young larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Shelter of a young larva (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Plant of Aconitum vulparia that hosts a larva (under leaf with red point). Normally those leaves are wilting because the larva gnaws the leaf veins at the base, but in this case rain has refreshed the leaf (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Same plant as in the preceding image, but leaf reversed (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013)   [M] Euchalcia variabilis: Infested leaf (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Infested leaf (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Settled plant of Aconitum vulparia (eastern Swabian Alb, May 2013) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Besiedelte Pflanze late April 2008 (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Blick in ein gut besiedeltes larval habitat (eastern Swabian Alb, April 2008) [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Larval habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb in May 2013: north exposed, stepped woodland margin [N] Euchalcia variabilis: Larval habitat on the eastern Swabian Alb in May 2013: north exposed, stepped woodland margin [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed mostly on Aconitum vulparia. The use of blue Aconitum species such as Aconitum napellus or A. variegatus is questionable in my opinion, because they were refused in a trial and have another sheet consistency. However, larvae accepted Consolida sp. (garden variety), which is in the sheet quality similar to Aconitum vulparia.

Habitat:
Euchalcia variabilis colonizes shaded, slightly humid and somewhat lighter areas in the forests or along forest edges, stream banks and tall herb communities in the woodlands, forest ravines and valleys, mostly air humid cellar locations. In the Alps, Euchalcia variabilis is also found in a bit more open localities such as spring water rich forb communities.

Life cycle:
The caterpillars are found from mid April to late May/early June. They live at first in a young leaf woven together in the heart of the plant and later under an umbrella, which they made from a sheet. Therefore they are biting the petiole just before the leaf almost through, so the leaf wilts and collapses to an umbrella/shelter. Even the young caterpillars treat their young, small leaf in a similar way, but spin it in addition. Pupation takes place in leaves woven together.
The moth flies in June and July. Probably the L1-larva overwinters in a cocoon.

Endangerment: endangered

Endangerment factors:
The mostly small-scale habitats are quickly destroyed by cutting trees, storage of logs, afforestation with spruce or overgrowth with neophytes. They should be mapped and preserved in their original state. This also applies to the still much rarer Lamprotes c-aureum.

Remarks:
The distribution ranges from the mountains of Southern and Central Europe to Central Asia.



Euchalcia bellieri | Euchalcia chlorocharis | Euchalcia consona | Euchalcia emichi | Euchalcia italica | Euchalcia modestoides | Euchalcia siderifera 
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