Striped Lychnis

  • Striped Lychnis
    Striped Lychnis
  • Striped Lychnis caterpillar
    Striped Lychnis caterpillar
  • Striped Lychnis
    Striped Lychnis
  • Striped Lychnis caterpillar
    Striped Lychnis caterpillar

Scientific name: Shargacucullia lychnitis

Flies at night in June and July. Similar to the Mullein (S. verbasci), but typically smaller and lighter, the Mullein flying from late April to May.

The larvae of both species are also superficially similar, the Mullein having black spotting between each segment, whereas Striped Lychnis larvae generally have a clear band of pale green between each segment. Striped Lychnis feeds from July to mid September, whereas that of the Mullein feeds from late May to July.

Size

  • Medium Sized 
  • Wing Span Range (male to female) - 42-47mm

Conservation status

  • UK BAP: Priority Species
  • Nationally Scarce

Caterpillar Description

The larva usually feeds on the flowers and can readily be found by day; July to mid Spetember. Overwinters as a pupa, on or just below the ground surface.

Particular Caterpillar Food Plants

Dark Mullein (Verbascum nigrum), but has been reported on White Mullein (V. lychnitis) and ornamental mulleins in gardens

Distribution

  • Countries – England
  • Local in southern England, being found in West Sussex, Hampshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire. Also once recently in Wiltshire. Formerly found in some other parts of southern England.
  • Distribution Trend Since 1970’s = Britain: Declining

Habitat

Roadside verges, embankments, field margins, rough downland, and also woodland rides and clearings. Usually in un-shaded situations.

Factsheets