Graellsia isabellae — “Spanish moon moth”

Welcome on my page about how to rear and breed Graellsia isabellae.

Graellsia isabellae, the Spanish moon moth,  is a marvelous insect that is endemic to the mountainous regions in the Alps and Pyrenees in Spain, France, and Switzerland, though in the latter country has been speculated to be an introduction.

graellsia isabellae bartThree freshly emerged males resting on a stick in captivity. One has already torn a wing, males of this species are very frantic and active.

Graellsia isabellae is a pine tree feeder, and I recommend using Pinus sylvestris over any other kind of coniferous trees, as it is the native host plant. Pinus strobus is another viable second choice, and thirdly, though not optimal, it may accept fir or spruce such as Pseudotsuga, Tsuga, or Picea. The moths live in high altitude pine forests. Though the habitat may reasonably heat up during the day, which are rocky and dry pine forests, at night and in winter the species is also subjugated to rather harsh cold, due to the high altitude. Moths, after spending the winter as diapausing pupae inside their cocoons, emerge in early summer, from May to early July, after which they reproduce, and leave the next generation of larvae to feed on pine trees. Cocoons will always overwinter until the next spring, as this species has only one generation a year.

The larvae, with stunning lime green camouflage, develop reasonably well in plastic boxes. They must be kept clean and dry, they are not fond of high humidity. It is also better to rear them in low density, and not include too much larvae per rearing box.




One thought on “Graellsia isabellae — “Spanish moon moth””

  1. And in Andorra (Pyrenees of course!). I photographed one in my garden at 1200m this week. I will send if you want if you send me an email address.


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