Brahmaea europaea

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Brahmaea europaea
Acanthobrahmaea europaea.jpg
Brahmaea (Acanthobrahmaea) europaea
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Brahmaeidae
Genus: Brahmaea
Species: B. europaea
Binomial name
Brahmaea europaea
(Hartig, 1963)
  • Brahmaea europaea Hartig, 1963
  • Acanthobrahmaea europaea Hartig, 1963

Brahmaea (Acanthobrahmaea) europaea, commonly known as the European owl moth, is a lepidopteran from the family Brahmaeidae in the subgenus Acanthobrahmaea.[1]


B. europaea is the sole species in the genus Brahmaea in Europe. Most species in the genus are in eastern Asia.[1] The species can be identified by wing veins in adults and pupal dorsal spines on abdominal segments.[1] The species was originally described as Acanthobrahmaea europaea in 1963, but Acanthobrahmaea later became a subgenus.[1][2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]


The species can only be found in the southern Italy. Their habitat consists of woods of leaf bearing treas in mountainous areas at a height of 200 to 800 metres in semi-deciduous and undisturbed woodlands.[1] Habitat fragmentation and light pollution, and clearing of forest underbrush, collection of rare species, are likely factors affecting B. europaea distribution and abundance and current IUCN endangered status.[1] Wild boards can also consume both host plants and pupae in the ground.[1]

Life cycle[edit]

Adults fly from late March to early May. Adults are active after sunset and are cold-tolerant enough to be seen flying during snowfall.[1] Adults lay eggs on the tree trunk of plants within Oleaceae including Fraxinus angustifolia, Phyllirea latifolia, and Ligustrum vulgare in captivity.[1]

Eggs hatch at the end of March and April 12 to 15 days after oviposition. The larvae move to the top of the plant and move downwards as leaves are consumed. Larvae may move to other plants depending on size. Larvae undergo five instars, pupate on the ground where they overwinter and emerge as adult the following spring.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Mosconi, F.; et al. (2014). "An overview of the most outstanding Italian endemic moth, Brahmaea (Acanthobrahmaea) europaea (Lepidoptera:Brahmaeidae)". Fragmenta Entomologica. 46: 1–9. 
  2. ^ "Fauna Europea". Retrieved October 22, 2015. 

External links[edit]