Black Collar Dichagyris flammatra
([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
Wingspan 42-52(60) mm.
Until recently, this unmistakable and aptly named species was placed in the genus Ochropleura. It was then briefly placed in a new genus Basistriga (Fibiger & Lafontaine, 1997) and subsequently in Albocosta (Fibiger & Lafontaine, 1997). In the most recent European Checklist (in Witt & Ronkay, eds, 2011), Albocosta is treated as a subgenus of Dichagyris.
There are just five British records, the most recent being from Gloucestershire in 1968 and Shetland in 1997. On the Continent, the moth occurs in open scrub land in the mountains, and here in Britain it must be regarded as an exceptional vagrant.
It is on the wing from June to September, possibly with summer diapause (Fibiger, 1990), and comes to light and sugar. The Shetland specimen was taken at sugar.
The larva overwinters from September to late May, and feeds on a range of herbaceous plants. There is a short pupal period.
(Description: Barry Goater)