Epicallia villica

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Cream-spot tiger
Cream-spot Tiger moth - Arctia villica.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Erebidae
Genus: Epicallia
Species: E. villica
Binomial name
Epicallia villica
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms
  • Arctia villica (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Arctia villica meridionalis (Heinrich, 1923)
  • Chelonia villica corsica (Oberthür, 1911)
  • Chelonia villica nicaeensis (Oberthür, 1911)
  • Phalaena bombyx vidua (Poda, 1761)

Epicallia villica, the cream-spot tiger, is a moth of the family Erebidae. The species is distributed from the Iberian Peninsula across western and southern Europe, Anatolia, western and northern Iran, West Siberia, Southwest Asia and North Africa.[1]

Description[edit]

The wingspan of these moths reaches 45–60 mm.[2] They have black or greyish forewings with white and cream broad patches and spots. The bright red/orange hind wings have black spots. The thorax is black and the abdomen is reddish-orange. The highly-coloured parts are bright scarlet on a newly-emerged insect and tend to dull to orange with age. The caterpillars are black with light brown tufts of hairs, while the head and the legs are reddish. They can reach a length of about 12–12 mm.

Behaviour[edit]

The moths are nocturnal and attracted by light, but the females fly also during the day. By day these moths can be found resting on leaves. Moths of this species fly from March to July depending on the location.

The caterpillars feed on a variety of herbaceous plants, mainly dandelion (Taraxacum species), plantains (Plantago species), deadnettles (Lamium species), yarrow (Achillea species), blackberries (Rubus species), nettles (Urtica species), knapweeds (Centaurea species) and strawberries (Fragaria species).[3]

They overwinter, but they are relatively sensitive to frost. They can be seen in the spring after hibernation while feeding or seeking for suitable places to pupate. They pupate in May on the ground.

Habitat[edit]

This species inhabits woodland, areas with bushes and hedges and sunny open grassy areas.[2]

Subspecies[edit]

  • Eutallia villica confluens (Romanoff, 1884)
  • Eutallia villica villica (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Eutallia villica angelica (Boisduval, 1829)
  • Eutallia villica fulminans (Staudinger, 1871)
  • Eutallia villica marchandi (de Freina, 1983) [2][4]

Philately[edit]

The cream-spot tiger appeared in 1992 on the German stamp of 100+50 pfennigs.

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]