- Subfamily: Arctiinae, Arctiini, Spilosomina
- Wingspan: 34-42 mm
- Flight period: May - Jul
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagous
The Spilarctia lutea also known as Spilosoma lutea or with the common name Buff Ermine
is a moth of the Erebidae family, subfamily Arctiinae, with a wingspan of 34-42 mm.
Visible throughout Europe, it is absent like most of the moths of this site from Iceland, in Italy it is also present in the islands. *
The wings of this species are buff-yellow (males tend to have the most intense color compared to females) and are typically marked with a diagonal line of dark spots on the front wing and a few other spots scattered both on the front and rear wings.
The extent of black spots varies they range from examples of almost immaculate wings to largely black ones ( melanic forms ). **
Head, thorax and abdomen are yellow. The thorax has a thick hair, the abdomen has three rows of black spots above (one central and two lateral), two ventrally. **
The species flies from May to July and is an assiduous frequenter of artificial light. The larva is light brown in color and covered with thick red-orange hair. It is polyphagous, feeding on a great variety of trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants. This species overwinters as a pupa.
Host plants are belonging to various botanical families Asteraceae, Urticaceae, Polygonacee, Plantaginaceae, etc. to come for example Alnus, Mentha, Plantago, Quercus, Rheum, Rubus, Rumex, Urtica, Honeysuckle, etc..
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/