Eilema cereola (Hübner, 1803)


Eilema cereola: Adult (Switzerland, Täschalpe, July 2019) [N] Eilema cereola: Adult (Switzerland, Täschalpe, July 2019) [N] Eilema cereola: Adult (Switzerland, Valais, Laggintal, July 2019) [N] Eilema cereola: Adult (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, larva in early May 2014) [S] Eilema cereola: Female (Valais, Switzerland) [S] Eilema cereola: Female, ventral [S] Eilema cereola: Male (e.l. Valais, Switzerland) [S] Eilema cereola: Male (e.l. Valais, Switzerland) [S] Eilema cereola: Half-grown larva (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [S] Eilema cereola: Half-grown larva (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [S] Eilema cereola: Half-grown larva (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [S] Eilema cereola: Half-grown larva (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [S] Eilema cereola: Larva (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [S] Eilema cereola: Larva [M] Eilema cereola: Larva (Valais, Switzerland 2010) [M] Eilema cereola: Larva (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [N] Eilema cereola: Larva (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [N] Eilema cereola: Larval habitat (Austria, Tyrol, Gaichtspitze, early May 2014) [N] Eilema cereola: Habitat [N]

Host plants:
The larva feeds on mosses, algae, lichens, old grasses, litte and flowers, etc.

Habitat:
Eilema cereola inhabits alpine, usually slightly matted pastures and meadows especially in the (southern) central Alps, that are sometimes interspersed with stones and sometimes located in open forest between mostly 1400 and 2200m above sea level. In the north it is found much lower down.

Life cycle:
The caterpillar overwinters half-grown. I found them in early June in Switzerland (Valais) in a gravel-interspersed gully in very sparse mountain forest at 2000 meters above sea level while searching for Lycaena larvae under Rumex scutatus. The moth flies from late June to mid-August.

Endangerment factors:
Locally Eilema cereola can be endangered by skiing infrastructure, chalet construction, too intense grazing or avalanche barriers.

Remarks:
Eilema cereola represents morphological characteristics between Eilema and Setina. Because of that some authors treat Eilema cereola in the specially created genus Setema. In my opinion, it is much closer to Eilema. Today it is usually again listed as a member of the genus Eilema in literature.

Eilema cereola occurs from Scandinavia and the Baltic countries eastwards (Russia). A disjunct occurrence is known from the Alps where it is quite widespread in the southern and central parts, but much more local in the north.



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