Calliteara pudibunda

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Pale tussock
Calliteara pudibunda.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lymantriidae
Genus: Calliteara
Species: C. pudibunda
Binomial name
Calliteara pudibunda
(Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Phalaena pudibunda Linnaeus, 1758
  • Dasychira pudibunda (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • Elkneria pudibunda (Linnaeus, 1758)
  • .. pudipunda auct. [misspelling]

Calliteara pudibunda (pale tussock) is a moth of the family Lymantriidae. It is found in Europe and Anatolia.

The Dutch common name for the moth (Meriansborstel) is named for famous butterfly and insect painter Anna Maria Sibylla Merian.

Technical description and variation[edit]

For a key to the terms used, see Glossary of entomology terms.

The wingspan is 40–60 mm.Female: Forewing greyish white dusted with dark, and bearing dark wavy transverse lines edged with pure white on the inner side. Hindwing white with indication of a dark submarginal band.Male: Forewing olive-grey, with black median area and darker indistinct slightly wavy transverse lines in the marginal and basal areas. Hindwing greyish yellow, with a transverse band which is slightly more distinct than in the female, and sometimes forms an elbowed anal. juglandis Hbn. denotes a form which is rather strongly divergent in the male, being distinguished by a greyish white head and thorax (in typical specimens this is dark brown or only slightly lighter), as well as by a whitish basal area of the forewing. The median area is grey with blackish discocellular spot and marginal lines; hindwing with distinct dark submarginal band and discocellular spot. In the female the submarginal band of the hindwing is also more distinct than in typical specimens, ab. concolor Stgr. has dark grey forewing, unicolorous or with only traces of transverse lines. [1]


The moth flies from April to June.

Egg light yellowish brown with dark median spot. Larva usually light lemon-yellow, but sometimes brownish yellow, violet or blackish grey, with deep black segmental incisions, lighter dorsal brushes and red or brown pencil on the 11th segment.The larvae feed on oak, willow, birch, Prunus and Crataegus species.


  1. ^ 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

External links[edit]