Dandelion Ecology, food for insects

Dandelions are a food plant for a number of butterflies and moths. These include the spectacular Giant leopard moth  Hypercompe scriboniaHypercompe scribonia

The Geometridae moth caterpillars that feed on dandelions including the riband wave Idaea aversataIdaea aversata

and the small fan footed wave Idaea biselata.

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


Antitype chi

 and The flame  Axylia putris,Axylia putris

The shark Cucullia umbratica,Cucullia umbratica

The nutmeg  Dicestra trifolii,

The satellite  Eupsilia transversa,

The gothic  Naenia typica,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



  1. Goku juegos said,

    23/11/2011 at 7:23 pm

    All round well written blog!!

    • 13/04/2012 at 1:04 pm

      I still plan to carry on my work with weeds/ wildplants, however a new job and commitments have come in the way in the meantime I have been blogging about our encounters with birds butterflies and plants. Thank you for your comment I have just learned how to reply to these.

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