- Subfamily: Pyraustinae
- Wingspan: 14-20 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Host plants: Asteraceae, Lamiaceae, Plantaginaceae
The Pyrausta despicata also called Straw-barred pearl is a moth of the Crambidae family, subfamily Pyraustinae, with a wingspan of 14-20 mm.
In Europe it can be found practically everywhere with the exception of Ukraine and Lithuania. In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
The basic coloring of the front wings is light brown, but the colors ranging from dark cream to reddish hazel fall within the variability of the species. As mentioned, the variability of the species is remarkable both in color and in the design of the wings, but a cream-colored transverse line is almost always visible. with a wavy course and narrower in the median area. The wings are fringed in brown.
The hind wings, fringed like the front ones, are dark and are crossed longitudinally by two lighter lines, in the postdiscal and submarginal regions, the finer submarginal and sometimes almost invisible one.
The Pyrausta despicata alco called Straw-barred pearl it is one of the smallest Pyraustine moths. This moth normally occupies calcareous habitats, but it can be found in both clayey and sandy soils, more rarely on the borders of marshy lands.
There are two non-overlapping generations throughout the year, with flight periods in May and June, and later in July and August. In some cases adults can be observed until the beginning of October. It is both a diurnal and a nocturnal moth. ** Often, both chrysalises and adults of this species can be found in groups.
The caterpillar, which can reach a length of 12 mm, is light brown / greyish in color with a series of black dots on each segment. The head is amber. The pupa is red-brown in color. ***
The larvae feed on Asteraceae such as Gnaphalium sp., Lamiaceae Salvia sp., Plantaginaceae such as Plantago lanceolata and Plantago major.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** HANTSMOTHS - The Moths of Hampshire and Isle of Wight - https://www.hantsmoths.org.uk/ *** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/