- Subfamily: Acentropinae
- Wingspan: 22-24 mm
- Flight period: May - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Lemna sp., Typha, Sparganium
The Cataclysta lemnata is a moth of the Crambidae family, Acentropinae subfamily,
subfamily characterized by the fact that in most species the larvae are aquatic, with a wingspan of 22-24 mm.
It is distributed throughout Europe with the exception of Portugal, Slovenia, Serbia, Montenegro and Ukraine. In Italy it is present also in the islands. *
The dimorphism is represented by the color of the front wings.
In the females they are golden brown with a whitish terminal area interrupted by a small ocher yellow area, various light / dark shades run throughout the wing. They are visible two small dark brown spots, one in the discal region, in the anal area, the other in the post-discal region in the median area. In the male, the front wings are white with golden hues, the costa and dark ocher color like the series of small lunulae attached to each other present along the margin. A small spot, golden brown in color and visible in the post-discal region in the median area.
The hind wings in both sexes are white with gray and ocher designs. The terminal area of the wing has a black gray area with small white spots, parallel to the margin, surrounded by ocher and brown bands on both sides.
Along the post-discal region of the wing, two narrow parallel ocher lines are visible, sometimes wavy and sometimes zigzagging. A large ocher spot bordered by a narrow line crosses the discal region, except in the coastal area. Another spot of the same color but much smaller is visible in the radial area of the wing.
This moth flies from May to August depending on the location, when females, in particular, are attracted to artificial light. It is a fairly common species where stagnant or very slow water is present. Mating often occurs on the surface of the water covered with duckweed or macrophytic geandi such as Typha latifolia . **
The eggs, which can be over 250, are laid under the leaves. Particularly the cycle of caterpillars that live entirely submerged in cocoons become hydrophobic after two weeks.**
The larvae are semi-aquatic and build a cocoon with the fragments of the host plant.
The larvae feed on duckweed species, Lemna sp. Typha, Sparganium and Spirodela polyrhiza **, as well as aquatic ferns of the genus Azolla. ***
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Pabis, Krzysztof (2014). "Life cycle, host plants and abundance of caterpillars of the aquatic moth Cataclysta lemnata (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) in the post-glacial lake in central Poland" - http://biozoojournals.ro/
*** Farahpour-Haghani, Atousa; Hassanpour, Mahdi; Alinia, Faramarz; Nouri-Ganbalani, Gadir; Razmjou, Jabraeil; Agassiz, David (20 January 2017). "Water ferns Azolla spp. (Azollaceae) as new host plants for the small China-mark moth, Cataclysta lemnata (Linnaeus, 1758) (Lepidoptera, Crambidae, Acentropinae)" . Nota Lepidopterologica. 40 (1): 1–13. doi:10.3897/nl.40.10062. ISSN 2367-5365 -https://www.tandfonline.com/