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Reed Leopard - Phragmataecia castaneae

Phylum: Arthropoda - Class: Insecta - Order: Lepidoptera - Family: Cossidae

Reed Leopard Moth

The Reed Leopard Moth is one of only three of the approximately 700 species of Cossidae moths (Leopard and Goat moths) to occur in Great Britain.

The slightly translucent wings of this moth have fine black spots and marks throughout The abdomen of the moth extends well beyond the wing tips. The comb-like antennae of the male moth is one of its most distinctive features for identification purposes.

The Reed Leopard Moth's habitats are wet and boggy. They are found on the edge of ponds, in marshes and fens and other areas where the ground is wet thoughout the year or submerged during winter and spring.

The forewing of the Goat Moth ranges between 15 and 23mm

Distribution

This resident moth is listed as a red data species in Britain due to its steep decline resulting from the destruction and drainage of its wetland habitats for agricultural purposes.

Lifecycle

The Leopard Reed Moth is shortlived because it is unable to feed. It over-winters twice in its larval form where it lives below water level on the stems of Common Reed.

The larval foodplant of the Reed Leopard Moth is Common Reed..

Picture: Rob Petley-Jones

Studying butterflies and moths...


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