Cousin German moth (Protolampra sobrina)

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Cousin German
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Cousin German moth fact file

Cousin German moth description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumArthropoda
ClassInsecta
OrderLepidoptera
FamilyNoctuidae
GenusProtolampra (1)

Cousin German (Protolampra sobrina, formerly known as Paradiarsia sobrina) is a rare moth that has dark brown forewings with a purplish tinge and paler hind-wings, which become darker towards the outer margins (3).

Synonyms
Paradiarsia sobrina.
Size
Wingspan: 34- 39 mm (1)
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Cousin German moth biology

Adults of this single-brooded moth fly in July and August. The caterpillars are present from September to May (1) feeding on bilberry and ling at first, but progressing to young leaves on low branches of small birch trees after the over-wintering period (2).

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Cousin German moth range

Known from a just few locations in the central Scottish Highlands. It has been mostly recorded in Rannoch and Aviemore and less frequently from Strathspey and the Dee Valley (2).

You can view distribution information for this species at the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Cousin German moth habitat

Inhabits birch woods and old Caledonian pine forests, where there are large spaces between individual trees (2) and a ground layer of bilberry (Vaccinium) (4).

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Cousin German moth status

Classified as Rare in Great Britain (2).

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Cousin German moth threats

This species has suffered as a result of burning and unsuitable grazing regimes in the birch and pinewood pastures it inhabits (2). As a northern moth, global warming is a long-term threat (4).

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Cousin German moth conservation

The Species Action Plan produced for the Cousin German moth as part of the UK Biodiversity Action Plan (UK BAP) aims to maintain the present range of the species. Some populations are located within existing Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSIs) and nature reserves. Conservation action targeted at other threatened species that occur within Scottish pine forests, such as the Scottish wood ant Formica aquilonia, will also benefit the Cousin German moth (2).

There may be further information about this species available via the National Biodiversity Network Gateway.
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Find out more

Further reading on moths:
Skinner, B. (1984) Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles. Viking Press, London.
Leverton, R. (2001) Enjoying Moths. Poyser, London.

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Authentication

Information authenticated by Roy Leverton.

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Glossary

Single-brooded
(also known as ‘univoltine’). Insect life cycle that takes 12 months to be complete, and involves a single generation. The egg, larva, pupa or adult over winters as a dormant stage.
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References

  1. Skinner, B. (1984) Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles. Viking Press, London.
  2. UK BAP (December 2001): http://www.ukbap.org.uk
  3. Pers. Observation from images.
  4. Roy Leverton (2002) Pers. comm.
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Image credit

Cousin German  
Cousin German

© David Green / British Butterfly Conservation Society Ltd

Butterfly Conservation
Manor Yard
East Lulworth
Wareham
Dorset
BH20 5QP
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1929 400 209
info@butterfly-conservation.org
http://www.butterfly-conservation.org/

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