Breeding of the Lymantrid moth Dasychira abietis D.&S.

By P. Stadel Nielsen

The very rare moth Dasychira abietis is in Denmark only resident on the island Bornholm between Sweden and Poland. Here the species is found in plantations of spruce (Picea abies). Males comes readily to light, but the females are rare and are only active for a short period during dusk. A female was caught in august by John Møller and eggs were readily laid. From this female several generation were bred by keeping the larvae at high temperature ie. 26-30 dgr C and constant light. Under such conditions it was possible to create a new generation within only 6 weeks. Normally this species hibernates as larva and completes its growth in May and June next year.

The larva shovn here is fully grown and about 4.5 cm long. It is one of the most spectacular and beautiful moth caterpillars. (Foto by P. Stadel Nielsen)

Freshly emerged female of D. abietis.
(Foto by P. Stadel Nielsen)