- Subfamily: Arctiinae, Arctiini, Spilosomina
- Wingspan: 32-45 mm
- Flight period: Apr - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagous
The Phragmatobia fuliginosa also called Ruby Tiger is a moth of the Erebidae family, subfamily Arctiinae, with a wingspan of 32-45 mm.
Visible throughout Europe, it is absent like most of the moths on this site, from Iceland, in Italy it is also present in the islands . *
The front wings of the Phragmatobia fuliginosa are brown, with two small black spots in the central part; the hind wings have a red orange background color with black spots of different sizes in the submarginal region. The head is brown in color, has a small spirotrumpet and has short palps directed forward. The chest is brown with a lot of hair, the abdomen is dorsally brown / red-orange, ventrally brown.
The dimorphism is represented by the antennae (combed in the males) and by the apparently more swollen abdomen in the females which is hairy and red in color, like the first segment of the legs.
Bivoltine species, univoltine in northern Europe, it can be found practically from spring to autumn. It is present throughout Italy from the basal to the mountain level. It frequents the most disparate environments, but particularly those cultivated and man-made , where it can sometimes cause damage. May be attracted to artificial light sources.
The eggs are laid in groups on or near host plants. When mature, the larvae have a black, shiny head and are light brown or black-brown with very tight tufts of bristles, ** dorsally they have a yellow / orange stripe. Wintering and nymphosis take place inside a silky cocoon covered by the brown bristles of the caterpillar.
Host plants are herbaceous belonging to various botanical families (Asteraceae, Labiateae, Urticaceae, Polygonaceae, Borraginaceae, etc.) such as for example Andromeda polifolia, Calluna, Epilobium angustifolium, Plantago, Polygonium, Potentilla, Rubus, Rumex, Salix, Taraxacum, Trifolium and Vaccinium etc.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Kimmo Silvonen Larvae of North-European Lepidoptera - http://www.kolumbus.fi/silvonen/lnel/a/phrfulig.htm