Proterebia afra (Fabricius, 1787)


Proterebia afra: Male (e.o. N-Greece) [S] Proterebia afra: Upper side (Siatista, N-Greece, May 2008) [N] Proterebia afra: Upper side (Siatista, N-Greece, May 2008) [N] Proterebia afra: Upper side (Siatista, N-Greece, May 2008) [N] Proterebia afra: Male (e.o. N-Greece) [S] Proterebia afra: Adult (Askion, May 2011) [N] Proterebia afra: Lower side [N] Proterebia afra: Ovum (Siatista, Mai 2008) [M] Proterebia afra: L1-larva (e.o. N-Greece 2008) [S] Proterebia afra: L1-larva (e.o. N-Greece 2008) [S] Proterebia afra: Half-grown larva (e.l. N-Greece 2008) [S] Proterebia afra: Larva in penultimate instar [S] Proterebia afra: Larva in last instar, lateral [S] Proterebia afra: Larva in last instar [S] Proterebia afra: Larva [S] Proterebia afra: Pupa lateral [S] Proterebia afra: Pupa ventral [S] Proterebia afra: Pupa dorsal [S] Proterebia afra: Oviposition place: Festuca tussock (N-Greece, Siatista, May 2008) [N] Proterebia afra: Habitat in Northern Greece near Kozani (Siatista), early May 2008 [N]

Host plants:
I observed oviposition in Greece only in clumps of Festuca ovina agg., although numerous other grasses were available.

Habitat:
Proterebia afra inhabits stony, partly bushy, grazed grassland slopes that are very hot and dry in summer.

Life cycle:
The adults fly in April and May. The eggs are deposited in the small clumps of Festuca ovina agg., where they do not stick, but tumble to base of the sparse clumps. The eggs can be found easily on good sites, since they are often easily visible from above. The young caterpillars, presumably after the second moult, aestivate in low activity and grow in the wetter autumn quickly. Hibernation takes place in last instar, where feeding takes place even at temperatures just below 0 degrees Celsius at night (breeding observation). Pupation takes place in the early spring (March or early April).

Endangerment factors:
The very local sites are threatened due to maintenance changes of all kinds (abandonment of grazing, overbuilding, rock excavation, solar farms etc.) and should be protected.

Remarks:
The presence of the typical steppe species is restricted in Europe to a few sites in Croatia and Northern Greece. Besides Proterebia afra occurs from Turkey and the Crimea in the steppe belt east to Kazakhstan.