Orthosia gothica (Linnaeus, 1758)


Orthosia gothica: Adult (e.l. Schnalstal 2011) [S] Orthosia gothica: Adult (e.l. Schnalstal 2011) [S] Orthosia gothica: Adult (Ticino, Switzerland) [N] Orthosia gothica: Adult (e.l. Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [S] Orthosia gothica: Adult (e.l. eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany), markings a bit reduced [S] Orthosia gothica: Adult [S] Orthosia gothica: Young larva [M] Orthosia gothica: The half-grown larvae can be easily confused with Orthosia gracilis. The photographed larvae have been proved by breeding. [S] Orthosia gothica: Half-grown larva [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva in penultimate instar [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva in penultimate instar. The half-grown larvae are easily confused with Orthosia gracilis. But the latter has distinct white spots on the dorsal side. The shown larvae were proved by breeding. [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva. The white lateral stripe is quite variable in intensity. [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva (Schnalstal, June 2011) [M] Orthosia gothica: Larva at Urtica dioica (Schnalstal, South Tyrol, June 2011) [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva at Urtica dioica (Schnalstal, June 2011) [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva at Urtica dioica (Schnalstal, June 2011) [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, found on Ononis) [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva (eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, found on Ononis) [S] Orthosia gothica: Larva (Swabian Alb, Southern Germany) [M] Orthosia gothica: Pupa (adult already developed) [S]

Host plants:
The larvae feed on deciduous woods and more rarely also herbs, eg. Salix, Prunus, Filipendula, Rumex, Urtica and others. I found the caterpillar especially on willow, nettle and blackthorn (Prunus spinosa). On the latter, I have beaten in mid-May many young caterpillars.

Habitat:
Orthosia gothica inhabits forests, hedges, clearcuttings, stream margins and other mostly semi-open habitats.

Life cycle:
The moth overwinters in the pupa and emerges in March or April (especially at higher elevations even in May). The caterpillars are found from May to July.

Endangerment factors:
Orthosia gothica is common and not threatened.

Remarks:
Orthosia gothica occurs from Spain to Japan and is also found above the Arctic Circle.

Hints on determination:
The younger larvae are similar to those of Orthosia gracilis. But the latter usually has more distinct small white spots on the dorsal site. Moreover, Orthosia gothica seems to live more freely on the plant whereas the younger larvae of Orthosia gracilis live in individually webbed shelters.



Orthosia cerasi | Orthosia cruda | Orthosia dalmatica | Orthosia gracilis | Orthosia incerta | Orthosia miniosa | Orthosia munda | Orthosia opima | Orthosia populeti | Orthosia rorida 
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