Proserpinus proserpina (Pallas, 1772)


Proserpinus proserpina: Adult [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Male [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Adult [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Adult, freshly emerged [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Adult, lower side [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Ovum (Provence, France, June 2009) [N] Proserpinus proserpina: Ovum (Provence, France) [N] Proserpinus proserpina: Ovum [M] Proserpinus proserpina: L1-larva [M] Proserpinus proserpina: L1 [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Half-grown larva [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Young larva [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva, half-grown [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva lateral, just in last instar [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva dorsal [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva, brown [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva, brown [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva, grayish green form [N] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva, grayish green [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Larva, with with circular plate instead of a typical horn [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Pupa [S] Proserpinus proserpina: Pupa prior to emergence [S]

Host plants:
The caterpillars generally feed on Epilobium, but rarely on the eponymous Oenothera. Most often they are found on Epilobium hirsutum or Epilobium angustifolium.

Habitat:
Proserpinus proserpina inhabits moist, warm habitats such as wetlands, gravel pits, meadow ditches, stream banks and clearcuts.

Life cycle:
Proserpinus proserpina occurs in a single generation in May/June. The eggs are deposited often in the heat accumulation over sunny ditch edges. The caterpillars are found from June to mid or late August.

Endangerment: endangered

Endangerment factors:
In Central Europe Proserpinus proserpina is often very variable in abundance. Proserpinus proserpina is threatened by habitat loss (drainage and intensification). Near Memmingen (Germany) a strong population was destroyed in a gravel pit in order to build a solar farm. It is clear that in our already constricted nature each further engagement - and if it even was allegedly environmentally friendly - can lead to negative results if it is not performed on ecologically worthless land, but on so far little-used remaining rest habitats.

Remarks:
Proserpinus proserpina has increased in Southern Germany since the beginning of the millennium (most frequent in 2003). Proserpinus proserpina is likely to benefit from a changed, warmer climate.

The distribution extends from Northwest Africa to China. In Europe it is restricted to warmer regions. In Germany it is missing in the north largely, but is probably undergoing expansion there.