([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
- Subfamily: Ennominae, Boarmiini
- Wingspan: 40-55 mm
- Flight period: May - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Poliphagous
The Ascotis selenaria also called Luna Beauty is a moth of the Geometridae family, subfamily Ennominae, with a wingspan of 40-55 mm.
It is visible in central southern Europe and is absent from Portugal, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Holland, the Baltic countries, the Scandinavian Peninsula, and Northern European Russia. In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
It is also found in Africa, Anatolia from the Caucasus Mountains to the Altai Mountains, Korea and Japan.
The front wings of Ascotis selenaria are characterized by a yellowish-white background color, with numerous dark gray spots and two transverse brown lines strongly toothed. The hind wings have the same coloring as the front wings. The front and rear wings display distinctive moon-shaped spots. The head, thorax and abdomen are gray in color with some markings on the segments. **
Normally bivoltine in Europe, it can be monovoltine in the presence of particular climatic conditions. They are almost exclusively nocturnal moths. Adults are visible from April to May and subsequently from July to August.
Caterpillars can be found from September to October (first generation) and in June-July (second generation). They can reach a length of 55 millimeters. The color and pattern of the caterpillars vary from green to yellow / green or brown like twigs. They have a characteristic bulbous swelling on the upper part at about one third of the length which gives them even more the appearance of a twig and have the typical movement of the caterpillars of the Geometridae. In many areas they are considered pests that cause serious damage to agriculture.
The larvae are polyphagous, but feed mainly on Artemisia campestris, Sambucus sp., Rose (Rosa sp.), Rubus fruticosus (blackberry), Cytisus scoparius (Ginestra), Taraxacum sp., Betula sp (birch), Arbutus sp., Pimpinella sp., Melilotus sp. (clover), Cypress spurge (Euphorbia sp.), Mimosa longifolia, Mimosa dealbata, Salvia sp. and Salix glabra.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/