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Green Forester Moth

Adscita statices

Green Forester Moth

A close up image of a Adscita statices green forester resting on a blade of green grass

Zygaenidae - Adscita species (male)

by Hectonichus. CC BY-SA 4.0

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Adscita statices is a pretty moth commonly seen in open meadow and coastal habitats, throughout the southern regions of Europe and the UK. See them in the height of summer, where they'll only fly when the sun is shining. Several biodiversity acts protect them due to habitat loss. These moths are the most common in the genus, however, are still protected by a handful of legislative acts in the UK and Ireland.
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Traits

Gorgeous moths that can be seen on the wing from early summer.
Caterpillars will mine and graze the leaves of Sorrel.

Appearance

Adults: Wing length: 11-15cm. They're coloured with a dazzling metallic green. The forewing tips are fringed with fine and short black hairs. The male's antennae are fanned, while the females are thick, black and serrate. The legs are also black. Larvae: Stout, chunky caterpillars with white-green pink-brown markings and black heads. Covered in clusters of fine white hairs. Pupae: Golden brown and roughly 10cm. They pupate beneath the caterpillar food plant in winter. Eggs: Tiny and laid beneath the leaf of the food plant.

Symptoms

Caterpillars begin as leaf miners, burrowing into leaf inner tissues. As they mature, they graze the upper surfaces of leaves. Caterpillars tend to keep low to the ground.

Activity

Nocturnal

Personality

Order

Lepidoptera

Family

Zygaenidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe and the UK

Biological treatment

These caterpillars are harmless in most cases. If you spot loads on a desirable plant, remove a few using gloves and relocate. They may not be eaten by birds but serve as a yummy treat for spiders and parasitic wasps. Their eggs are a food source for other garden wildlife.

Chemical treatment

It's not advised to remove these insects from the environment because of the small risk they pose to garden plants.

Attracts

Caterpillar food plants include Common Sorrel and Sheep Sorrel.

Sorrel

Rumex acetosa

Dock

Rumex spp.

Repels

Predatory insects will eat the moths and caterpillars.
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