Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Muslin moth

The Muslin moth (Diaphora mendica) belongs to the group of the tiger moths. In case you didn't know Muslin is a cotton fabric. The moth reaches a wingspan of about 30 millimeters. The species is characterized by sexual dimorphism which means that males and females look different.  The males are grey-brown , whereas the females are bright white in color with some black spots.  Both have a furry head. The females look very similar to those of a different species, the White Ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda).

This species inhabits bright, grove rich habitats with edges such as sparse forests, clearcuts, hedge areas, and higher growing dry slopes. It occurs sporadically also in urban areas. The Muslin Moth is actually dependent on extensively managed habitats and edges. The most intensive agriculture (intensive manure meadows and corn fields in the open country, dark forest management in woodlands) increasingly helps this species to spread.

The pupa hibernates. The moths fly in a single generation from mainly April to mid-June. At higher altitudes they fly until early July. The caterpillar lives from late May through August, rarely later.

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