Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Life Among The Lichens

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At  this quiet time of year  a little bit of thought provoking stuff are there any of the British Moths more intimately associated with Lichens as a Larval food source It is  known that the caterpillars of the subfamily Lithosiinae (Arctiidae), or lichen moths, feed on lichens, They are suspected of being algivores, feeding on algae, either free-living, or as a lichen symbiont

There may may be more reasons to gaze on Yorks Stone as a living food source rather than an inanimate object and perhaps more reasons to conserve dry stone walling on Field Margins for Wildlife per se This of of course does not preclude the great value of urban churchyards a fantastic resevoir for these creatures. or indeed the sheltered chalk expanses of Yorshire Dale Arnside or other urban Quarries

Rather than rattle on  I have posted this open thread to add to if any one  has a find directly related to this subject even if it is an Adult Moth on or near its habitat Association to illustrate the Life Cycle. Of course any pictures of the larvae feeding on lichen would be an insight . Where do they actually overwinter Under bark,? Crevices ? Dry Leaf Litter ? Hollow Trees ?
please feel free to add or correct in comments  and i'll add to the list / thread as and when

Many of the British Moths are admirably camouflaged and often dissapar completely when embedded on it although not all will rely upon it as a definitive food source


Marbled Beauty Cryphia domestica 73.084 BF2293  Larval Food Plant Lichens on WallsThe larva is bluish-grey with orange markings along the back. It feeds exclusively on lichens such as Lecidea and Xanthoria.This species overwinters as a larva.

Query 3485



Common Footman Eilema lurideola 72.045 BF2050

Larval foodplants are lichens and algae growing on trees and stone. Parmelia But it will also feed on leaves of Hawthorn, Blackthorn and Bramble.

Footman 0714

List Of Lichen Feeders

Bankesia conspurcatella    11.007 BF182 The larvae feed on lichens, in a case made of lichens, soil and sand.

Dotted Carpet Alcis jubata 70.266 BF1942   The larvae are bright green with large black dots and feed on lichens such as beard lichen (Usnea barbata).

Round-winged Muslin Thumatha senex 72.037 BF2035 The larvae feed on lichens, especially dog lichen (Peltigera canina), as well as various mosses.

Rosy Footman Miltochrista miniata 72.035 BF2037  The caterpillars feed on lichens growing on trees, including dog lichen (Peltigera canina)

Dog Lichens At Cromwell Bottom


Imran Iqbal said...

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brian leecy said...

Great article Col,another Lichen frequenter Infurcitinea argentimacuella is one to watch out for locally too,found on the powdery Lepraria Lichen species on walls/Trees,possibly found a case near base of a Lepraria covered dry stone wall unfortunately case was empty..