|Euthrix potatoria is a medium-sized moth, reaching wingspans of 40 - 65 mm. Its body isyellow, brown or reddish brown in colour. The head and neck are thick with long hairs. The base colour of the wings is ochre -yellow to reddish brown. The wings of the males can have a purple sheen and are usually darker than the females’. |
There is a dark brown diagonal stripe in the anterior third of the upper surface of the forewings, which extends up to the wing edge, and which remains visible when the wings are folded. Another transverse line in the same colour can be found in the posterior third of the wings’ upper surface. It runs from the wing joint to the wing tip. About halfway between these transverse lines, is a less distinct, wavy line. In the centre of the wings’ upper surface, between the two dark brown, transverse lines, are two different-sized, predominantly white patches, which have a thin, dark circumference and a brown core (usually). The drinker can be confused with other eggar moth species such as the plum lappet (Odonestis pruni).
|Euthrix potatoria prefer habitats with open woodlands and wetlands. They are active from June to August, the females at twilight, the males at night. |
After mating, the fertilized females lay single eggs or groups, on grasses. The eggs are oval, flat, and have a whitish (later slightly greenish) surface, which is stuffed with annular gray (later green) drawings.
|The larvae hatch in September. They are nocturnal, but can also be found during the day on grasses. Their bodies are up to 75 mm in length and their colouration is very striking, almost unmistakeable. The basic body colour of the caterpillar is dark grey, and later changes to blue. |
The entire body of the caterpillar is covered in a thick coat of long reddish-brown hair. These hairs break off when touched and can get stuck in the skin. A band of yellow to orange-yellow spots runs along each side of the caterpillar and next to this are short, thick, black tufts of hair. There are white tufts of hair in pairs and triplets, the whole way along the lower half of the sides.
On the upper surface of three segments of the back are broad tufts of long, orange hair. On the penultimate segment is a similar tuft of black hair.
|These caterpillars regularly drink dew or rain drops. They eat moor grass (Molinia caerulea), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea), reed (Phragmites australis) or sedge (Cyperaceae). |
The caterpillars are resistant to the cold winter and in the 3rd Larval stage are to find on grass. The larvae continue eating in the spring. In May, they pupate in a parchment-like cocoon, with strong bristles. The pupa hangs from a blade of grass, is black and red in colour and darkens wit time. In June, the adult drinker hatches.
|Common names||The Drinker, Drinker, Drinker Moth|
|German names||Gras-Glucke, Grasglucke, Trinkerin, Graselefant|
|Dutch names||Rietvink, Drinker|
|Finnish names||Heinäkehrääjä, Heinänorsu|
|Author||Carl von Linné (Carl Nilsson Linnæus), 1758|
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|Links and References||Euthrix potatoria in faunaeur.org|
Euthrix potatoria in leps.it
Euthrix potatoria in dyntaxa.se
Euthrix potatoria in Wikipedia (English)
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