Monday 2 January 2017

Moth Mondays - The Orange Footman


The Orange Footman
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Superfamily: Noctuoidea
Family: Arctiidae
Genus:     Wittia [formerly Eilema]
Species:     W. sororcula
Binomial name
Wittia sororcula
[formerly... and in most books...
and all the sites linked below..
Eilema sororcula]

We've only had an Orange Footman [Wittia sororcula] le Manteau jaune here the once...
it was caught in the moth trap on the 21st July 2016....
now it will be interesting to see if we get them this year.

They are a distinctive moth.... certainly a Footman by shape... but with the hind section of the apricot orange forewings more convex than the other footmen... and it has black legs.

The books show orangey-cream hindwings and a yellow-grey, yellow-tipped abdomen.
The spikily hairy caterpillar has a black lump at each end and in the middle...
joined by a black line...and the sides are marbled with orange dots at regular intervals.
Again, like other Footman caterpillars, it feeds on lichens.

Next Monday... a change from the Footmen.... I haven't decided yet!

NB: The information from the other sources is now placed at the bottom of the post.

Other than Wikipedia.... and personal observations!
Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa [ also known as]
A superbly illustrated site.... marvellous on the Micromoths...
but difficult to use on a tablet/iPad.... an awful lot of scrolling needed.   An excellent resource... with distribution maps

UK Moths This is quite a simple site... but nicely put together.

The German site - For really good samples of photos...
including museum specimens: to use....
Enter the Latin name and then select the Latin name from the list of pages found.
There is probably a lot more on this site... but I don't read [or speak] German!!

From the Wiki:

Wittia sororcula, the orange footman, is a moth of the family Arctiidae. It is found in Europe, Anatolia and further east across the Palearctic to southern Siberia and the Amur basin to China.

The wingspan is 27–30 mm. Forewing with the costa strongly convex and therefore the apical portion of the forewing considerably broader than in the forms of the luterella -group. Head, thorax, end of abdomen and the forewing bright golden yellow, the hindwing of male but little paler; in the female both wings slightly paler orange yellow. In contradistinction to lutarella, the costal area of the hindwing above and beneath is never black.

    Wittia sororcula sororcula
    Wittia sororcula orientis (Daniel, 1954)

The moth flies from April to June depending on the location. Larva blackish, with two yellow dorsal stripes with red dots and white spots. The larvae feed on lichen on trees, both on conifers  and on deciduous trees. Can be obtained by beating saplings, also in bushes and in the grass, sometimes feeding at flowers in the daytime.

From UK Moths

Orange Footman Eilema sororcula
(Hufnagel, 1766)
Wingspan 27-30 mm.

A woodland species, this moth is distributed in the southern half of Britain, rarely reaching further north than East Anglia.

The single brood flies in May and June, when it can be attracted to light.

The caterpillars live on lichens growing on the trunks of oak (Quercus) and beech (Fagus) trees.

No comments: