Agdistis cf. tamaricis
- Subfamily: Agdistinae
- Wingspan: 18-27 mm
- Flight period: Jun - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Tamarix sp., Myricaria germanica
The Agdistis tamaricis also called Tamarisk Plume is a moth of the Pterophoridae family, with a wingspan of 18-27 mm.
In Europa we find in the Iberian Peninsula, in France, Germany, Switzerland, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, southern and eastern European Russia. *
Its range extends to Anatolia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China. In the south it is found in Israel, North Africa and Arabia. In the eastern region it is found in India, China and Taiwan and in the African-tropical region in Liberia, South Africa and Mauritania. *** In Italy it is also present in the islands. *
The Agdistis tamaricis when at rest is characterized by a "Y" position, it is gray in color brown finely dusted with dark and has four dark spots along the costal vein, of which two internal and two external, another spot is present in the dorsal area. The wing edge is fringed in light ocher with a dark spot on the inner corner.
The hind wings are silky gray brown with a light ocher fringed edge. Head, thorax and abdomen follow the color of the wings
Since Agdistis tamaricis is very similar to its congeners, the certainty of the species can only be obtained by dissecting the genitals.
In this case, the identification was made on the basis of the massive presence of host plants but cf. remains an obligation.
The Agdistis tamaricis is bivoltine and the adults are visible in flight from June to August. **, ****
The particular designed caterpillar can be found in June and in the first half of July and then in the second generation in September and October.
The larva is initially green in color with white lateral bands and with a series of clear protuberances on each segment which are decidedly more pronounced on the 2nd, 5th and 8th segments. These protuberances change color at the next stages becoming light brown giving the caterpillar a cryptic camouflage. *****
The caterpillars are characterized by a particular behavior, they get rid of their excrements shaking themselves in a wide movement. ******
Even the elongated pupa of a very light brown color highlights this type of camouflage recalling the sprouts or branches of the nourishing plants. **, *****
Larvae of this moth can be found on Tamarix gallica, Tamarix smyrnensis, and Myricaria germanica.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Mindat.org - https://www.mindat.org/taxon-1859388.html
***** Moths and Butterflies of Europe and North Africa - https://leps.it/
****** C. Gielis: Pterophoridae In: P. Huemer, O. Karsholt, L. Lyneborg (ed.): Microlepidotteri di Europe 1: 1-222, Apollo libri 1996. ISBN 87-88757-36-6