Biology

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The Drab Looper is usually single-brooded and the adults fly in May and June. Sometimes a second brood is produced, the adults of which fly in August. Eggs are laid in June (4), the caterpillars are present from July to early September, and the overwintering stage is the pupa (2), which occurs below the soil surface (4). The adults emerge the following year in May and June (4) and can be seen flying in sunshine (2).
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Conservation

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The Drab Looper is a priority species under the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP). The Species Action Plan aims to maintain the current range of this moth and establish a regular monitoring scheme. Many of the existing colonies occur within Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) (1).
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Description

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The delicate adults of the Drab Looper are greyish-brown in colour and have a silky appearance, but this 'sheen' is lost with age (3). The caterpillars reach 1.3 cm in length, they have a brown head and a grey-pink body with variable black markings, pink warts and an orange or yellow stripe along each side (4). The common name 'looper' refers to the caterpillar, which characteristically arches its body as it moves (5).
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Habitat

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This species is found in recently felled or coppiced woodland where the larval foodplant wood spurge Euphorbia amygdaloides is found. The caterpillars show a preference for plants growing in full sun (1).
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Range

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This moth is found in two main areas in the UK, one extends from Gloucestershire and Monmouthshire, reaching north to Herefordshire and Worcestershire. The other area focuses on Hampshire, and includes south Wiltshire, West Sussex and Berkshire. The species has been lost from many woods in Somerset, Kent and South Wales, but persists in isolated colonies in these areas. Since the 1940s it has been totally lost from Oxfordshire and the area extending east to Bedfordshire and Essex. Elsewhere, the species has been recorded from most central and southern European countries (1).
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Status

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Classified as Nationally Scarce in Great Britain (1).
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Threats

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This species has suffered as a result of changes in forestry practices including the decline in traditional coppice management in woodlands, and the replacement of small-scale rotational felling with large plantations of trees of the same age, particularly conifers (1).
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Minoa murinata

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Minoa murinata, the drab looper, is a moth of the family Geometridae. The species was first described by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli in his 1763 Entomologia Carniolica. It can be found in southern and central Europe, Great Britain, Anatolia, the Caucasus and the mountains of central Asia and Mongolia.

The wingspan is 14–18 mm. The length of the forewings is 9–11 mm. The moths fly from June to August depending on the location.

The larvae feed on cypress spurge and wood spurge.

Subspecies

  • Minoa murinata murinata (Europe, Russia, Asia Minor, Central Asia)
  • Minoa murinata amylaria Prout, 1914 (Alps, Italy)
  • Minoa murinata limburgia Lempke, 1969 (Netherlands)
  • Minoa murinata lutea Schwingenschuss, 1954 (Russia)[3]

References

  1. ^ Yu, Dicky Sick Ki. "Minoa murinata (Scopoli 1763)". Home of Ichneumonoidea. Taxapad. Archived from the original on March 25, 2016.
  2. ^ Brehm, Gunnar; Bodner, Florian; Strutzenberger, Patrick; Hünefeld, Frank; Fiedler, Konrad (November 1, 2011). "Neotropical Eois (Lepidoptera: Geometridae): Checklist, Biogeography, Diversity, and Description Patterns". Annals of the Entomological Society of America. 104 (6). doi:10.1603/AN10050. (subscription required)
  3. ^ Xue, Dayong; Scoble, Malcolm J. (June 27, 2002). "A review of the genera associated with the tribe Asthenini (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Larentiinae)". Bulletin of the Natural History Museum. Entomology Series. 71 (1): 77–133. doi:10.1017/S0968045402000044.

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Minoa murinata: Brief Summary

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Minoa murinata, the drab looper, is a moth of the family Geometridae. The species was first described by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli in his 1763 Entomologia Carniolica. It can be found in southern and central Europe, Great Britain, Anatolia, the Caucasus and the mountains of central Asia and Mongolia.

The wingspan is 14–18 mm. The length of the forewings is 9–11 mm. The moths fly from June to August depending on the location.

The larvae feed on cypress spurge and wood spurge.

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