- Subfamily: Arctiinae, Arctiini, Spilosomina
- Wingspan: 34-48 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagous
The Spilosoma lubricipeda also called White Ermine 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 of this site from Iceland, in Italy it is also present in the islands. *
It is found throughout the temperate belt of the Palearctic region north of Turkey Georgia, southern Kazakhstan of Siberia (excluding Buryatia), Eastern Mongolia, China, Korea and Japan.
The wing design is highly variable, from entirely white to heavily covered with black dots. The hind wings are often with one or more black points, more rarely without points. Easily confused with the species Hypantria cunea , but decidedly less common, it can be distinguished from the latter by the upper part of the abdomen which in Spilosoma lubricipeda is yellow while in Hypantria cunea it is white.
Antennas have longer branches than congeners, up to three to five times the diameter of the antenna stem. The species flies from May to September and is a frequenter of artificial light. They are not preyed upon by birds as they are poisonous. The larva is lilac / brown in color, has an amber head with two large black spots, and is covered with dense and deep dark brown hairs and an orange-yellow dorsal stripe.
Host plants are herbaceous belonging to various botanical families Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Urticaceae, Geraniaceae, Polygonacee, Plantaginaceae, Rosaceae, etc. as for example Salix, Urtica, Polygonum, Rumex, Rubus, Pisum, Trifolium, Geranium, Vaccinium, Plantago, Taraxacum, Lactuca etc ..
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/