Dandelion Ecology, food for insects
02/05/2011 at 6:12 pm (Uncategorized)
Dandelions are a food plant for a number of butterflies and moths. These include the spectacular Giant leopard moth Hypercompe scribonia
The Geometridae moth caterpillars that feed on dandelions including the riband wave Idaea aversata
and the small fan footed wave Idaea biselata.
In addition the caterpillars of the orange swift Triodia sylvina feed on dandelions.
Many Noctuidae moth caterpillars feed on dandelions including those of the Grey Chi Antitype chi
and The flame Axylia putris,
The shark Cucullia umbratica,
The nutmeg Dicestra trifolii,
The satellite Eupsilia transversa,
The gothic Naenia typica,
The Large Yellow Underwing Noctua pronuba,
and the Setaceous hebrew character Xestia c-nigrum
In addition dandelions are also an important food plant for bees especially in early spring when pollen and nectar of few other food sources are available. They are also used as a nectar source by the pearl bordered fritillary Boloria euphrosyne