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ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2011 str. 20     <-- 20 -->        PDF

I. Mihoci & M. Franjević: RAREAND THREATENED GEOMETRID MOTH Erannis ankeraria IN CROATIA: ... Šumarski list br. 7–8, CXXXV (2011), 353-360

Bulgaria and Romania(Čelik etal. 2004,Flamigni
et al. 2007, Leraut 2009).Itis single brooded with
adults emerging at the end of February and being active
into beginning ofApril,when the air temperatures are
favorable (Čelik etal. 2004,Flamigni etal. 2007,
Leraut 2009, Beshkov & Zlatkov 2011).They
belong to so-called ecological group of “winter”
moths.The ‘‘winter moth syndrome” is a set of ecologicaltraits
which refers tothe adult flight season either
very early of verylate in the season;winter mothsprefer
forest habitats, spring-feeding and/or larval
polyphagy and have limited or no adultfeeding at all
(Wahlbergetal. 2010).

Malesof theAngoran Umber have a wingspan of 32
to 40 mm with forewings light beige in color and transverse
light brown lines often weakly visible (Leraut
2009). Males are strongly attracted to lights and can
often be found flying around lamps or light UV-traps.
An adult male is morphologically close to the most significant
oak defoliators (Glavendekić 2010)Agriopis
marginaria (Fabricius, 1776), Agriopis
aurantiaria (Hübner, 1799) and Erannis defoliaria
(Clerck, 1759) (Table 1, Fig. 2). According to
Beshkov &Zlatkov (2011)the structure of antennae
in males is the most reliable morphological feature
of separation between mentioned taxa. They are
slightly bipectinate with short lamellae forming tufts of
hair, not a pecten in E. ankeraria and in other three
species male antennae form two-times longerpecten.
Although,ErannisandAgriopisare not closely related,
the highly similar appearance of these moths (formerly
considered congeneric based on similar structure of
male antennae) indicates convergent evolution (thus,
wing morphology enabling active flight at low temperatures,
and mimicking yellow autumn leaves)(Wahlberg
at al. 2010). By the structure of male genitalia
Leraut (2009) and Beshkov & Zlatkov (2011)
placeE. ankerariainto the genusDesertobiaViidalep,
1979 and A. marginaria and A. aurantiaria into the
genusPhigaliohyberniaInoue, 1942.

The female is brownish, from 9 up to 15 mm in
length(Čelik etal. 2004,Leraut 2009) and suffers
from a wing reduction(is it brachypterous) so therefore
flightless. She emits sex pheromones that often attract
males. Females are usually found at the base of trees or
crawling up the tree trunks.

Caterpillars feed on leaves on both Pubescent Oak
(Quercus pubescens(von Willdenow,1796)and the
Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea ((Mattuschka) Liebl.,
1784) and inhabit sub-Mediterranean xerothermophilous
oak shrub forests, light open oak forests and oak groves
in sub-Mediterranean environments from plain up to 600
m a.s.l (Leraut 2009).TheAngoran Umber hibernates
in the pupal stage (Čelik etal. 2004).

Although, theAngoran Umber is strictly protected
in Croatia, the conservation status assessment-regarding
current range,population size and trend, detailed
habitat features and future prospects is inadequate and
insufficient,precisely unknown.

Purpose of this paper is to pronounce a lack in
knowledge in distribution and population dynamics of
this endangered moth, to initiate systematic research
forgathering data needed to access species conservation
status; and to accent the need in active involvement
of foresters in future long-term monitoring.

MATERIALAND METHODS – Materijal i metode

In order to access species occurrence and distributionin
Croatia we analyzedrecords from published papers,
data from collections of Croatian and Slovenian
museums and faculties and unpublished recent field
data.Re-examined material is deposited in the Central
moth collection of Croatian Natural History Museum –
sub collection of the Geometridaefamily (G CNHM),
in the Igalffys’ entomological collection of CNHM
(I CNHM), Kučinićs’collection(K CNHM) andVaj dićs’
collection (VCNHM) of Lepidoptera of CNHM,
in themoth collection of the Natural History Museum
in Rijeka (NHMR), collection of butterflies and moths
of Radovan Kranjčev from the Koprivnica city museum
(RKM), Koščecs’entomological collection from
theVaraždin city museum (KVCM), Hafners’collection
of Lepidopteraof the Slovenian Museum of Natural
History (H SMNH) and Badovinac (BFF) and
Henchentomological collection (HFF) at the Faculty
of Forestry, University of Zagreb, Croatia.Abbreviations
are used further in the text when referring to collections.
Specimens were identified by the wing morphology
according to Flamigni et al. (2007) and

Field data was gathered during the field trips in Istria,
on the Ćićarija Mt., Učka Mt. and coastal side of
theVelebit one night per week fieldtrips during
February and March 2009, with insufficient catch per
unit effort, referring to the limited number of only four
light traps per site.Adultmale moths were accessible
tostandardized sampling method by attractable light
UV-trapsOsram Blacklight L18W/73 – 600 mmwith
a white reflectable fabric on the pyramidal metal construction.
Aconstruction has a base length of two meters
and operates at a ground level.Light trap was on
from dusk till early morning, not less than 5 hours.
Given that females of the species are brachypterous
and therefore do not fly, we visually inspected oak
trees during daytime.