The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

Lasiocampidae » Pinarinae

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

66.010 (BF1640) The Drinker Euthrix potatoria (Linnaeus, 1758)

Forewing length 21-35mm. Quite an unusual and very distinctive moth. The males are smaller than the females, and the males are an orange-brown, where the females are a yellowish-buff. The female appears in these images.

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

The adult flies July to August, and is attracted to light. Found in a variety of habitats, including open woodland and gardens. Fairly common and widespread in southern Britain, scarcer further north. The larva feeds on grasses and reeds.

The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

© Pete Hillman June 2011.


9 thoughts on “The Drinker Euthrix potatoria

  1. This is the first time I’ve experienced a sense of anxiety when seeing one of your photos. The reason? This little gem — particularly that furriness around its head — looks remarkably like our asp: a stinging caterpillar that wreaks absolute havoc before becoming a flannel moth and fluttering away.

    The whole asp appears furry and cute as can be, but it’s covered with spines that are like hypodermic needles. The sting is unbelievably painful. I’ve experienced it once, and I never, ever want to repeat it. I simply brushed against it with my arm while getting out of the car, and spent a month recovering.

    Whew! Such memories!

    Do you have any stinging caterpillars over there?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes we do. Quite a few with the hairs that can irritate the flesh when handled, and can be quite nasty as you say. I guess it is a defense mechanism. Imagine being an animal with that in your mouth and discovering it is quite something really nasty! The caterpillar of this species is quite hairy and covered in spines.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Common names intrigue me. The Drinker? Hmmm. Seems like this moths like the occasional drop of morning dew according to several sources. The caterpillars are quite lovely — are their hairs also stingers like Shoreacres’ asps?

    Liked by 1 person

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