Nine-spotted moth


Nine-spotted moth
Nine-spotted moth
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Arctiidae
Genus: Amata
Species: A. phegea
Binomial name
Amata phegea
(Linnaeus, 1758)
Synonyms
  • Sphinx phegea Linnaeus, 1758
  • Syntomis phegea (Linnaeus, 1758)

The nine-spotted moth (Amata phegea) is a moth in the family Arctiidae ("woolly bears").

It reaches a wing span of 35–40 millimetres (1.4–1.6 in). Its wings are blueish black with white spots. A further feature is the prominent yellow ring at the abdomen. The black antennae have white tips.

Similar moths are Amata ragazzii (Turati, 1917) and Zygaena ephialtes (Linnaeus, 1758). Z. ephialtes is poisonous for birds and the nine-spotted moth imitates its appearance (mimicry).

The nine-spotted moth is chiefly found in southern Europe but also seen up to northern Germany, and in the East to Anatolia and the Caucasus, and there are some populations in the South-Eastern Dutch nature reserves "Leudal" and "De Meinweg" The species prefers drier areas, open ranges with shrubs and trees as well as open forests and slopes.

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