Phibalapteryx virgata (Hufnagel, 1767)

Phibalapteryx virgata: Adult (östliche Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, May 2009) [N] Phibalapteryx virgata: Lower side [N] Phibalapteryx virgata: Half-grown larva [S] Phibalapteryx virgata: Larva [S] Phibalapteryx virgata: Larva [S] Phibalapteryx virgata: Larva [S] Phibalapteryx virgata: Larva lateral [S] Phibalapteryx virgata: Larva lateral [S] Phibalapteryx virgata: Pupa [S] Phibalapteryx virgata: Habitat: nutrient-poor grassland on the eastern Swabian Alb, Southern Germany, early May 2009 [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillar feeds on Rubiaceae species of grasslands, so especially Galium verum. Presumably also Asperula cynanchica is used.

Phibalapteryx virgata inhabits south to west exposed, partly also flat, low growing and warm nutrient-poor grasslands such as limestone juniper slopes. Phibalapteryx virgata is also found in partially dried-up calcareous fens on low growing spots.

Life cycle:
Phibalapteryx virgata has two generations (in the south maybe three) with adults in April and May (still rare in early June) and from July to August. The moths are easily flushed in the grasslands. They are partly diurnal (especially the males in the spring), but especially at night. The pupa overwinters.

Endangerment: strongly endangered

Endangerment factors:
Phibalapteryx virgata is threatened with extinction or at least heavily endangered because it is dependent on very nutrient-poor areas and these are becoming increasingly rare.

The distribution extends from France and Great Britain across Central Europe and a few places in Southern Europe through Russia to the Amur.