- Wingspan: 26-50 mm
- Flight period: Jul - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagous
The Triodia sylvina also called Orange swift is a moth of the Hepialidae family with wingspan of 26-40 mm wingspan in the male and 30-50 mm in the female.
It is present practically everywhere in Europe, it is absent only from Ireland, in Italy it is also present in the islands, even if its presence in Sardinia is uncertain. *
The Triodia sylvina has sexual dimorphism, not due exclusively to the size, but also to the coloring of the wings. The male in fact has evident orange front wings with two white bars forming a "V" . The first from the apex of the wing to arrive at the middle of the inner margin the second part of the half of the inner margin to end in the basal area and at the beginning of the costa.
These bands are surrounded by irregular dark shading; often a series of dark irregular spots, similar to the shading mentioned above, are visible in the submarginal region, like a second white spot in the shape of a "V" in the middle of the smaller costa and parallel to the previous one. The hind wings are dark brown.
The female, which as already mentioned, is generally larger, has a decidedly less intense color. The antennae are tightened in the same background color of the wings, like the head and the thorax, covered by an intense down, while the abdomen is slightly lighter.
Univoltine , this moth flies mainly at night, but it is also possible to meet it in the late afternoon. The flight period is from June to September. She is attracted to artificial light. The females lay their eggs on the low vegetation.
The newly laid eggs are spherical, white and shiny, then darken until they become black. After hatching, the larvae whitish in color with brown heads, crawl towards the ground where they remain there for two years. ***
The larva is polyphagous and endophyte nourishes the roots of Malvaceae (Malva, Althaea), Polygonaceae (Rumex sp.), Plantaginaceae (Plantago sp.), Lamiaceae (Salvia sp.), Scrophulariaceae (Verbascum) Asteraceae, (Tarassacum officinalis) and others. ***
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p.27.