Endromis versicolora in Denmark

All photos by Jens Meulengracht-Madsen

One of the first moths to find in Denmark in spring, is Endromis versicolora. The male is flying in sunshine in the birch forest late april. The species is very local in Denmark, mainly found in Northern Zealand and North-eastern Jutland. The habitat is birch forest on sandy ground.

Mating pair of E. versicolora, male dark brown sitting on the female. Mating lasts about one hour. The females is about 6 cm in length. After mating the male flies away, and in the dusk the female start her flight for egglaying lasting only 1 hour each day.

Eggs are laid in batches of 20-40 on small branches of birch (Betula pubescens) and she has a capacity of 250 eggs. The small larvae lives together until last instar and in july when fully grown they turn brownish-red and descends to the ground for pupation. This takes place in a cocoon a few cencimeters into moss on the ground.

Fully grown larvae, 5 cm long. The one to the right is ready to pupate which can be seen by its reddish colour.

Typical, but rare, locality of pure birch forest for E. versicolora in Northern Zealand, 60 km. north of Copenhagen. At this time, April 20th., the birch trees are just about to become green. If one is extremely lucky, the female of E. versicolora can be found on trunks or branches on the ground.

Sidst opdateret January 18, 1998