Lygephila pastinum (Treitschke, 1826)

Lygephila pastinum: Adult (e.l. Iller near Memmingen, Southern Germany) [S] Lygephila pastinum: Adult (northern Upper Rhine Valley in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany, late August 2008) [N] Lygephila pastinum: Larva prior to hibernation (eastern Swabian Alb) [N] Lygephila pastinum: Larva (Memmingen, Southern Germany) [S] Lygephila pastinum: Larva (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Lygephila pastinum: Larva [S] Lygephila pastinum: Pupa [S] Lygephila pastinum: Habitat in an extensively managed meadow in the Upper Rhine Valley, moths of the second generation in late August 2008) [N] Lygephila pastinum: Larval habitat in a clearcutting on the eastern Swabian Alb. If Vicia occurs in such places, the larvae are easily tapped in the autumn (October 2009) [N]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on Vicia species such as Vicia cracca and V. tenuifolia.

Lygephila pastinum inhabits particularly edges with the larval host plant, such as in nutrient-poor grasslands, wetlands, extensively managed meadows or in clearcuttings and woodland edges.

Life cycle:
The moths fly mostly in a single generation in June/July. At low altitudes there is regularly a second generation with moths from mid-May to early July and again in August and September. The caterpillars overwinter and can be tapped in the autumn (September/October) in Vicia stocks. In the spring, however, they live close to the ground and hide at least during the day in the litter.

Endangerment factors:
Lygephila pastinum loses massive habitats due to the decline in more nutrient-poor edges, but is overall still the most widespread species of the genus.

The distribution extends from Northern Spain through Central Europe and temperate Asia to Japan.

German version / deutsche Version