Muschampia tessellum (Hübner, 1803)


Muschampia tessellum: Male (e.l. rearing, N-Greece, NW of Kozani, larva in early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Male (e.l. rearing, N-Greece, NW of Kozani, larva in early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Female (e.l. Mount Olympus, Greece, 2008) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Female (e.l. Mount Olympus, Greece, 2008) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Male (Olympus, Greece, early August 2012) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Male (Olympus, Greece, early August 2012) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Young larva prior to hibernation (Turkey, 22. August 2009) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Half-grown larva (Olympus, Greece, May 2008) [M] Muschampia tessellum: Half-grown larva (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [M] Muschampia tessellum: Half-grown larva (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [M] Muschampia tessellum: Larva in penultimate instar (Olympus, May 2008) [M] Muschampia tessellum: Shelter of a larva in the thirdlast instar (Olympus, Greece) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Shelter of a larva in penultimate instar (Olymp) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Larva in last instar (e.l. Olympus 2008) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Larva in last instar (e.l. Olympus 2008) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Larva in last instar [S] Muschampia tessellum: Larva (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [M] Muschampia tessellum: Larva (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Larva (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Larva (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Larva prior to constructing the pupal shelter (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Pupa (e.l. Olympus 2008) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Pupa (e.l. Olympus 2008) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Pupa (e.l. rearing, N-Greece, NW of Kozani, larva in early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Pupa (e.l. rearing, N-Greece, NW of Kozani, larva in early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Pupa (e.l. rearing, N-Greece, NW of Kozani, larva in early June 2019) [S] Muschampia tessellum: Larval shelter (Greece, Mount Olympus, 1500m, 06. May 2008) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Larval shelter, opened (Greece, Mount Olympus, 1500m, 06. May 2008) [M] Muschampia tessellum: Larval shelter (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Larval shelter (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Besiedelte Raupennahrungspflanze (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Larval habitat (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Larval habitat (N-Greece, NW of Kozani, early June 2019) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Larval habitat with larval shelter (Greece, Mount Olympus, 1500m, 06. May 2008) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Larval habitat with larval shelter (Greece, Mount Olympus, 1500m, 06. May 2008) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Infested Phlomis samia (Olympus, May 2008) [N] Muschampia tessellum: Habitat in Northern Greece (Olympus) in early May [N]

Host plants:
Phlomis species. In Europe, only the usage of Phlomis samia is so far secured.

Habitat:
Muschampia tessellum settles on moderately dry to mesophilic, sunny and partial shrub-rich, large-scale, extensively grazed pasture landscapes in mostly medium altitudes from 500 to 1600m above sea level.

Life cycle:
Obviously, the caterpillar overwinters as L2, maybe also L3 (statement not proved). I found caterpillars on Phlomis samia in northern Greece in about 1400-1600m above sea level in the first week of May (2008). These larvae still had to pass two further moults.
At that time they usually web the leaf margin upwords to a pocket-like enclosure. In the last instar, a larger shelter is webbed of a complete leaf which both sides are spun together. Prior to pupation, the last shelter is reinforced cocoon-like. The adults fly from mid-June (at low altitudes probably already from late May) to early August.
A frequent companion species is sometimes Zerynthia polyxena, from which I observed many adults, eggs and young caterpillars in early May 2008 in the same habitat on Mount Olympus.

Endangerment factors:
Muschampia tessellum is severely threatened by changes of land usage. Both overgrazing and abandonment destroy the habitat quality. Locally, also overbuilding contributes to the decline. So a generous built road has recently (after the year 2000) destroyed parts of the habitat on the western side of Mount Olympus.

Remarks:
The distribution extends from southeastern Europe through Asia Minor and the Middle East to Mongolia. In southeastern Europe, populations are known from northern Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia and allegedly also Romania.



Muschampia cribrellum | Muschampia proto