Heliothis viriplaca (Hufnagel, 1766)


Heliothis viriplaca: Adult (Greece, Mount Vitsi near Kastoria, late June 2013) [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Adult (e.l. N-Greece) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Adult (e.l. La Gomera) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Adult (e.l. La Gomera) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Adult (e.l. Northern Greece, May 2010) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Adult (e.l. Northern Greece, May 2010) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera) [M] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, March 2006) [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, March 2006) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (Greece) [M] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (Northern Greece, May 2010) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (Northern Greece) [M] Heliothis viriplaca: Larva (La Gomera, February 2013) [M] Heliothis viriplaca: Pupa (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Heliothis viriplaca: Larval habitat in Northern Greece: larvae at Salvia sp. [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Larval habitat in a wide barranco with Bituminaria bituminosa in La Gomera (February 2013) [N] Heliothis viriplaca: Larval habitat in a wide barranco with Bituminaria bituminosa in La Gomera (February 2013) [N]

Host plants:
The larvae are polyphagous on herbs. I found many larvae in La Gomera on leaf surfaces of Bituminaria bituminosa (Fabaceae) and in the Valle di Susa on Ononis. In Northern Greece I obtained them together with Hadena larvae with a sample of flowering Silene and observed them additionally on Salvia.

Habitat:
Heliothis viriplaca inhabits nutrient-poor grasslands, rocky slopes, edges and open land of all kinds (especially warm and dry sites).

Life cycle:
The pupa hibernates. Heliothis viriplaca has several generations until autumn. Probably the later generations are not complete. Especially in arid regions pupae may also aestivate. The caterpillar rests open on the host plants during the day.

Endangerment factors:
Heliothis viriplaca is locally in decline due to the loss of warm-dry grasslands and ruderal terrain, so particularly north of the Alps.

Remarks:
Heliothis viriplaca occurs from Northwest Africa and the Canary Islands across southern and parts of Central Europe and Asia to Japan. In Central Europe it is native only in the south (e.g. Southern Alps) and in warm lowlands (e.g. Upper Rhine Valley). Further north it is found occasionally as a migrant moth.



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