Buff ermine

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Buff ermine
Spilosoma lutea1.jpg
Spilosoma lutea01.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Erebidae
Genus: Spilarctia
Species: S. luteum
Binomial name
Spilarctia luteum
(Hufnagel, 1766)
  • Phalaena lubricipeda lutea Hufnagel, 1766
  • Phalaena Bombyx zatima Stoll, 1782
  • Bombyx radiatus Haworth, 1812
  • Spilosoma lubricipeda hartigi Dannehl, 1928
  • Spilosoma lubricipedum reisseri Koutsaftikis, 1973
  • Diacrisia lutea japonica Rothschild, 1910
  • Spilarctia obliqua bergmani Bryk, 1942
  • Spilarctia obliqua ursulina Bryk, 1942
  • Diacrisia lutea rhododaktyla Bryk, 1948 [1949]
  • Spilosoma rhodosoma Turati, 1907
  • Spilosoma lutea
  • Spilosoma luteum

The buff ermine (Spilarctia luteum) is a moth of the family Erebidae. It is sometimes placed in the genus Spilosoma. It is found throughout the temperate belt of the Palearctic region south to northern Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, southern Siberia (excluding Buryatia), Eastern Mongolia, Amur Region, China, Korea and Japan.

The wings of this species are buffish yellow (the males tend to be more yellow in colour than the females) and are typically marked with a diagonal row of dark spots on the forewing and a few other scattered spots on both forewings and hindwings. The extent of black markings varies considerably, however, from almost spotless examples to largely black melanic forms. The wingspan is 34–42 mm. The species flies from May to July in the British Isles. This may vary in other parts of the range. It is attracted to light.

The larva is pale brown and very hairy. It is polyphagous, feeding on a wide variety of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants (see list). This species overwinters as a pupa.

Recorded food plants[edit]

Some larval food plants include :[1]


  • Spilarctia lutea lutea
  • Spilarctia lutea adzharica Dubatolov, 2007 (Georgia)
  • Spilarctia lutea japonica (Rothschild, 1910) (Middle Amur, Primorye, southern Sakhalin, southern Kuril Islands, eastern China, Korea, Japan)
  • Spilarctia lutea rhodosoma (Turati, 1907) Sicily, the black of the upperside is increased by a larger number of the spots; but especially distinguished by the bright red abdomen.


References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Entry for Spilarctia luteum". Database of the World's Lepidopteran Hostplants. Natural History Museum. Retrieved 18 October 2017. 
  • Chinery, MichaelCollins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984

External links[edit]