Thymelicus christi Rebel, 1894


Thymelicus christi: Male (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Male (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Male (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Female (e.l. La Gomera, 2006) [S] Thymelicus christi: Female (e.l. La Gomera, 2006) [S] Thymelicus christi: Half-grown larva (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, 60m asl, February 2013) [M] Thymelicus christi: Half-grown larva (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, 60m asl, February 2013) [M] Thymelicus christi: Half-grown larva (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, 60m asl, February 2013) [M] Thymelicus christi: Larva (La Gomera, March 2006) [M] Thymelicus christi: Larva (La Gomera, March 2006) [M] Thymelicus christi: Larva (La Gomera, March 2006) [M] Thymelicus christi: Larva (La Gomera, March 2006) [M] Thymelicus christi: Larva (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Larva (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Larva (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, 60m asl, February 2013) [M] Thymelicus christi: Larva (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, 60m asl, February 2013) [M] Thymelicus christi: Pupa, rear tip atypical curved (e.l. La Gomera, March 2006) [S] Thymelicus christi: Pupa (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Pupa (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Pupa a day prior to emergence (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Pupa a few minutes prior to emergence (e.l. La Gomera 2013) [S] Thymelicus christi: Typical feeding pattern (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, February 2013) [N] Thymelicus christi: Old shelter of a half-grown larva (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, February 2013) [N] Thymelicus christi: Larval shelter (La Gomera 2013) [N] Thymelicus christi: Brachypodium arbusculum that shelters a larva (La Gomera, Valle Hermosa, February 2013) [N] Thymelicus christi: Larval habitat in a ravine (barranco) near the coast in Valle Hermosa (La Gomera, February 2013) [N] Thymelicus christi: Larval habitat in La Gomera, March 2006 [N]

Host plants:
The caterpillar lives on grasses. I found it in the end of March 2006 and in February 2013 relatively numerous on Brachypodium arbusculum in Valle Hermoso in La Gomera.

Habitat:
Thymelicus christi colonizes sunny, fairly dry and bushy, often rocky slopes and ravines (barrancos) with the larval host plant.

Life cycle:
As with Thymelicus acteon, the hatched larva is likely resting in a cocoon from summer/late summer to winter. The caterpillars live in the late winter and spring. I found them in all instars in about 750m above sea level in late March 2006 and at about 60m asl in February 2013 in Valle Hermosa in La Gomera. The adults fly from March (lower elevations) to June (only occasionally even later until August/September).

Endangerment: endangered

Endangerment factors:
Thymelicus christi is endangered. Causes are overbuilding/tourism, forest and brush fires, and especially the often observed overgrazing by sheep and goats. Thus the habitat, were I found the larvae in 2006, appeared overgrazed and trampled by goats in December 2011.

Remarks:
Thymelicus christi is endemic to the Canary Islands and most common here in the north of the western isles from Gran Canaria.

The taxon is closely related to Thymelicus acteon and could easily still be treated as its subspecies.



Thymelicus acteon | Thymelicus lineola | Thymelicus sylvestris