Mythimna pallens (Linnaeus, 1758)


Mythimna pallens: Adult (e.l. northern Upper Rhine 2011) [S] Mythimna pallens: Adult (e.l. northern Upper Rhine 2011) [S] Mythimna pallens: Larva in penultimate instar (northern Upper Rhine, October 2011) [M] Mythimna pallens: Larva in penultimate instar (northern Upper Rhine, October 2011) [M] Mythimna pallens: Larva (northern Upper Rhine 2011) [S] Mythimna pallens: Larva (northern Upper Rhine 2011) [S] Mythimna pallens: Empty pupal skin (e.l. northern Upper Rhine 2011) [S] Mythimna pallens: Larval habitat in the northern Upper Rhine Valley: sandy grasslands with some more nutrient-rich areas. October 2011. [N] Mythimna pallens: Larval habitat in the northern Upper Rhine Valley: sandy grasslands with some more nutrient-rich areas. October 2011. [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillars live on grasses, mostly of productive species such as Arrhenatherum elatius, Dactylis glomerata or Calamagrostis epigejos.

Habitat:
Mythimna pallens inhabits grassy, extensively managed places from moderately moist to moderately dry with an peak in mesophilic stocks. These include fallow land, extensive areas of Arrhenaterum meadows, embankments, field edges, roadsides, nutritious stocks of semi-dry sand grasslands, forest edges, flood dams and other areas. In the wet area it is gradually replaced by Mythimna impura.

Life cycle:
Mythimna pallens usually flies in two generations from May to September. In cooler areas, sometimes only a single generation is formed (June to August). The caterpillar overwinters half-grown. I found it in September and October along with the much more numerous of Mythimna albipuncta, M. conigera and M. ferrago in Arrhenaterum- and Calamagrostis-rich, nutrient-rich stocks of sand grasslands in the Upper Rhine Valley.

The caterpillar is found much less frequently than those of the related species, which would probably be due to a something more hidden and ground-near lifestyle, because the moth is actually supposed to be fairly widespread.

Remarks:
Mythimna pallens is very widespread but usually not very abundant in Europe and temperate Asia. In Europe, Mythimna pallens is more common north of the Alps than in the south, where it can be quite rare and locally in the Mediterranean.



Mythimna albipunctata | Mythimna congrua | Mythimna conigera | Mythimna ferrago | Mythimna impura | Mythimna l-album | Mythimna litoralis | Mythimna pudorina | Mythimna riparia | Mythimna scirpi | Mythimna straminea | Mythimna turca | Mythimna unipuncta | Mythimna velutina | Mythimna vitellina 
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