Atolmis rubricollis

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Atolmis rubricollis
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Erebidae
Genus: Atolmis
Species: A. rubricollis
Binomial name
Atolmis rubricollis
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Phalaena rubricollis Linnaeus, 1758
  • Atolmis rubricollis ab. canescens Strand, 1919
  • Atolmis flavicollis Neub
  • Atolmis rubicollis Linnaeus, 1761

Atolmis rubricollis, commonly known as the red-necked footman, is a moth of the family Erebidae. It is found in the summer in forested regions of Europe and Northern Asia. This moth was first described by Carl Linnaeus in 1758.[1]


The red-necked footman is a small moth that is mostly charcoal grey or deep dark brown (fresh specimens almost black), but has a conspicuous orange thorax, part of which is visible behind the black head as an orange-red collar. The hindwings are a brownish-grey colour. The antennae and legs are black and the end of the abdomen is yellowish-orange or golden yellow. The wings are tightly folded together around the body and have pleated, squared-off ends. The wingspan is 25 to 35 mm (1.0 to 1.4 in) and the length of the forewings is 15 to 18 mm (0.6 to 0.7 in).[2] Neuburger named Roumanian specimens flavicollis; they are less dark brown and with light yellow instead of red collar.[3]

Life cycle[edit]

The white eggs of the red-necked footman are laid in small groups in crevices in the branches of trees, especially those of old firs.. They grow to a length of about 27 mm (1.1 in). Their head is black with a bold diagonal white stripe on either side. Their main colour is dark greenish-grey marbled with cream. Each segment bears six tiny reddish yellow warts which bear black hairs. The caterpillars feed on lichens growing on the trunks and branches of trees,[2][4] and can be found between August and October. They pupate before winter sets in and overwinter as glossy brownish red pupae, in a loose cocoon buried among moss and leaf litter. The moths fly between May and July depending on their location. They are mostly nocturnal, being attracted to lights, but also sometimes fly by day.[2][4] Sometimes the moths feed at Scabious and other flowers in the sunshine, but usually rest in day-time on the long branches of firs overhanging paths in woods, where they may be obtained by beating.


The red-necked footman is found in Europe South to the Mediterranean and East across the Palearctic to temperate Asia, including Siberia as far east as the Amur River and China. It is found in parts of Ireland, and in the United Kingdom is present in the south-westerly counties of England and Wales. Records from other parts of the United Kingdom probably represent accidentals and not breeding populations.[2] It is a woodland species found in deciduous and coniferous woodland, especially on spruce trees, but also on pine, oak and beech. It likes to be near streams in cool wooded valleys in upland regions.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Atolmis rubricollis (Linnaeus 1758)". Fauna Europaea. Retrieved 2017-04-30. 
  2. ^ a b c d Kimber, Ian. "Red-necked Footman Atolmis rubricollis". UK Moths. Retrieved 2013-01-08. 
  3. ^ Seitz, A. Ed. Die Großschmetterlinge der Erde, Verlag Alfred Kernen, Stuttgart Band 2: Abt. 1, Die Großschmetterlinge des palaearktischen Faunengebietes, Die palaearktischen Spinner und Schwärmer, 1912- 1913
  4. ^ a b Peter Friis Møller (1999). "Blodnakke (Atolmis rubricollis)". Felthåndbogen (in Danish). Retrieved 2013-01-08. 


External links[edit]