Antonechloris smaragdaria


 
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Essex Emerald Moth
(Antonechloris smaragdaria maritima)

 
syn. Thetidia smaragdaria maritima

 
distribution:

Great Britain: Essex, Kent / South East England

 
local name:

Essex Emerald - Great Britain
Essex Emerald Moth - Great Britain

 
size: (?)

extinction date: 1996

 
While on the European continent the larvas of this species seem to feed on several plant species, where they camouflage themselves under dead plant parts which they weave among their bodies, the caterpillars of the endemic British subspecies were only ever found on Sea Wormwood (Artemisia maritima).

In Great Britain this species is known only from the south east of England, from Essex and Kent, where it could be found in only a few coastal locations in which the host plant species of its larvae grew. In Essex the moth was last seen in 1985, in Kent it disappeared in the years of 1991 to 1992.

From the years 1987 to 1993 attempts were made to breed the subspecies in captivity with the intention to establish wild colonies from captive stock, but all of them without a long term success. Therefore the last members of this subspecies died in the year 1996 in captivity.

 
left:

Essex Emerald Moth (Antonechloris smaragdaria maritima)


Depiction from 'The moths of the British Isles, by Richard South. London, F. Warne & Co., 1907-09.'

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org
 
left:

Essex Emerald Moth (Antonechloris smaragdaria maritima)


Depiction from 'The moths of the British Isles, by Richard South. London, F. Warne & Co., 1907-09.'

http://www.biodiversitylibrary.org

 
References: