Caterpillars of the World - Britain
Mullein moth
Shargacucullia verbasci  LINNAEUS, 1758
Superfamily - NOCTUOIDEA
subfamily - CUCULLIINAE
Tribe -
Shargacucullia verbasci Bentley Wood, Wiltshire  Adrian Hoskins
In the United Kingdom there are 45 representatives of the subfamily Cuculliinae, which includes the Brocades Blepharita spp, the Shoulder-knots Lithophane spp, the Sharks Cucullia spp, the Merveille du Jour Dichonia aprilina, and 3 Shargacucullia species i.e. the Striped Lychnis lychnitis, the Water Betony scrophulariae and the Mullein verbasci.
Shargacucullia verbasci is a widespread and fairly common moth found across most of England and Wales. Beyond the UK it occurs in western and central Europe, and in north Africa.

This species is found in forests, parks, farmland and scrubby grasslands.

The egg is white. It is laid singly on the underside of leaves of the larval foodplants. These include Scrophularia, Verbascum and Buddleia. The larvae, like those of other Shargacucullia species are white, with bright yellow blotches or bands, and numerous black spots. Pupation takes place in a tough earthen cocoon just below the surface of the ground. This species normally spends between 2-5 years in the pupal stage.
The adults emerge in May. They have reddish-brown forewings, and when at rest resemble a piece of dead plant stalk.


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