Macrothylacia rubi

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Fox moth
Macrothylacia rubi male, veelvraat mannetje.jpg
Macrothylacia rubi. Male
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lasiocampidae
Genus: Macrothylacia
Species: M. rubi
Binomial name
Macrothylacia rubi
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Phalaena rubi Linnaeus, 1758
  • Macrothylacia pygmaea Reuter, 1893
  • Macrothylacia rubi ab. transfuga Krulikowsky, 1908

Macrothylacia rubi, the fox moth, is a lepidopteran belonging to the family Lasiocampidae.[1]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This species can be found from Western Europe to Central Asia and Siberia.[2][3] These moths live in open woodlands, moors and prairies.[4][5]


The wingspan of the male is 40–65 mm.[5] The wings are reddish-brown in males, while females are usually paler, more greyish in colour and slightly larger than males. Both sexes show two narrow, straight, light-yellow, transverse bands, running across the forewings. The abdomen is thick, gray-brown and hairy.[5] The caterpillars can reach a length of about 80 millimetres (3.1 in). They are initially black, with bright yellow or orange segments, later they become darker, always covered with blackish and tawny-coloured hairs and with light gray hair on the sides.[5][6]


It is an univoltine species. Between September and March the caterpillars hibernate in leaf litter. These moths take flight from May to July. The males usually fly in the afternoon and night, while the females fly only at night.[5] Caterpillars feed on heather (Calluna) bramble (Rubus idaeus), Gramineae, Betula verrucosa, Salix, Populus tremula, Vicia cracca, Trifolium medium, Trifolium pratense, Vaccinium myrtillus, Fragaria, Potentilla and Geranium sylvaticum.[2][5][7]



  1. ^ Biolib
  2. ^ a b Funet
  3. ^ Fauna europaea
  4. ^ *P. C. Rougeot & P. Viette (1978). Guide des papillons nocturnes d'Europe et d'Afrique du Nord (in French). Delachaux et Niestlé (Lausanne). 
  5. ^ a b c d e f Fox Moth Macrothylacia rubi at UK Moths
  6. ^ Kimmo Silvonen Larvae of North-European Lepidoptera
  7. ^ Paolo Mazzei, Daniel Morel, Raniero Panfili Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa

External links[edit]