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SUMMARY:A “winter moth” Erannis ankerariais one of the most threatened
geometrid moths in Europe, listed on both Annex II and Annex IV of the
EU Habitats Directive and assigned as strictly protected taxa in Croatia.
There is a great lack regarding distribution, population trend parameters and
conservation status of this moth in Croatia. According to historical data, an
Angoran Umber occurred in Pula (Istria) and Kaštel Stari (Dalmatia), and
current field research in potentially suitable habitats resulted without records.
Therefore, future research should focus on an active involvement of lepidopterists
and foresters in long-term monitoring of the species, where beside light
trapping, more successful attracting methods as pheromone traps should be
used. Obtained results could lead to management guidelines proposal on sites
where the Angoran Umber occurs. Management guidelines or future species
action plan should focus of maintaining structure and function of Angoran
Umber habitat - light Pubescent Oak and Sessile Oak forests and forest edges,
in order to fulfill ecological requirements and subsistence of the species.

Key words:winter moth, monitoring, occurrence, Natura2000

Since 2009 and according to Official gazette No. portance and a part of NATURA 2000 Network
99/09 (Ministry of Culture of Republic of Croatia, (
2009), 49 Lepidoptera taxa are legally protected in

An Angoran Umber is a member of the family
Croatia. In category of protected taxa there are 14 but

Geometridae(subfamilyEnnominae)– one of the two
terflies, and in the category of strictly protected taxa

most numerous lepidopteran families (Hausmann,
30 butterflies and 5 moths. Following systematic by

2001).The European fauna of Geometridae comprises
Karsholt&Razowski(1996) these are:Eriogaster

957 species in total (Okyar & Mironov 2008),
(Eriogaster) catax (Linnaeus 1758) (Lasiocampidae),

while the number of species occurring in Croatia is
Erannis ankeraria (Staudinger 1861) (Geometridae),

nearly 440, representing about 45% of the overall Euro-
Gortyna borelii lunata (Freyer 1839) (Noctuidae),

pean geometrid faunaon approximately 0.55% of the
Orthosia (Dioszeghyana) schmidti (Dioszeghy 1935)

total European territory (Mihoci 2010). Besides
(Noctuidae) andEuplagia quadripunctaria(Poda 1761)

geometrids, the best studied of all moth families in
(Arctiidae).The first four are listed in bothAnnex II and

Croatia are noctuid mothswith approx. 590 species in
Annex IVof EU Habitats Directive(European Commis

total (e.g. Kranjčev 1985, Kučinić 1992, 1997,
sion, 1992)and they are all considered to be of EU im

Kučinić etal. 1994,Kučinić &Bregović 1996,
Kučinić & Perović 1996, Kučinić & Hrašo


Iva Mihoci, Croatian Natural History Museum, Department of


Zoology, Demetrova 1, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia,

TheAngoran Umber is a rare moth with localized


Milivoj Franjević, Faculty of Forestry, University of Zagreb,

occurrence in south and south-eastern Europe,spread

Svetošimunska 25, 10002 Zagreb, Croatia,

from Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Austria, and Hungaryto

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Bulgaria and Romania(Čelik etal. 2004,Flamigni
et al. 2007, Leraut 2009).Itis single brooded with
adults emerging at the end of February and being active
into beginning ofApril,when the air temperatures are
favorable (Čelik etal. 2004,Flamigni etal. 2007,
Leraut 2009, Beshkov & Zlatkov 2011).They
belong to so-called ecological group of “winter”
moths.The ‘‘winter moth syndrome” is a set of ecologicaltraits
which refers tothe adult flight season either
very early of verylate in the season;winter mothsprefer
forest habitats, spring-feeding and/or larval
polyphagy and have limited or no adultfeeding at all
(Wahlbergetal. 2010).

Malesof theAngoran Umber have a wingspan of 32
to 40 mm with forewings light beige in color and transverse
light brown lines often weakly visible (Leraut
2009). Males are strongly attracted to lights and can
often be found flying around lamps or light UV-traps.
An adult male is morphologically close to the most significant
oak defoliators (Glavendekić 2010)Agriopis
marginaria (Fabricius, 1776), Agriopis
aurantiaria (Hübner, 1799) and Erannis defoliaria
(Clerck, 1759) (Table 1, Fig. 2). According to
Beshkov &Zlatkov (2011)the structure of antennae
in males is the most reliable morphological feature
of separation between mentioned taxa. They are
slightly bipectinate with short lamellae forming tufts of
hair, not a pecten in E. ankeraria and in other three
species male antennae form two-times longerpecten.
Although,ErannisandAgriopisare not closely related,
the highly similar appearance of these moths (formerly
considered congeneric based on similar structure of
male antennae) indicates convergent evolution (thus,
wing morphology enabling active flight at low temperatures,
and mimicking yellow autumn leaves)(Wahlberg
at al. 2010). By the structure of male genitalia
Leraut (2009) and Beshkov & Zlatkov (2011)
placeE. ankerariainto the genusDesertobiaViidalep,
1979 and A. marginaria and A. aurantiaria into the
genusPhigaliohyberniaInoue, 1942.

The female is brownish, from 9 up to 15 mm in
length(Čelik etal. 2004,Leraut 2009) and suffers
from a wing reduction(is it brachypterous) so therefore
flightless. She emits sex pheromones that often attract
males. Females are usually found at the base of trees or
crawling up the tree trunks.

Caterpillars feed on leaves on both Pubescent Oak
(Quercus pubescens(von Willdenow,1796)and the
Sessile Oak (Quercus petraea ((Mattuschka) Liebl.,
1784) and inhabit sub-Mediterranean xerothermophilous
oak shrub forests, light open oak forests and oak groves
in sub-Mediterranean environments from plain up to 600
m a.s.l (Leraut 2009).TheAngoran Umber hibernates
in the pupal stage (Čelik etal. 2004).

Although, theAngoran Umber is strictly protected
in Croatia, the conservation status assessment-regarding
current range,population size and trend, detailed
habitat features and future prospects is inadequate and
insufficient,precisely unknown.

Purpose of this paper is to pronounce a lack in
knowledge in distribution and population dynamics of
this endangered moth, to initiate systematic research
forgathering data needed to access species conservation
status; and to accent the need in active involvement
of foresters in future long-term monitoring.

MATERIALAND METHODS – Materijal i metode

In order to access species occurrence and distributionin
Croatia we analyzedrecords from published papers,
data from collections of Croatian and Slovenian
museums and faculties and unpublished recent field
data.Re-examined material is deposited in the Central
moth collection of Croatian Natural History Museum –
sub collection of the Geometridaefamily (G CNHM),
in the Igalffys’ entomological collection of CNHM
(I CNHM), Kučinićs’collection(K CNHM) andVaj dićs’
collection (VCNHM) of Lepidoptera of CNHM,
in themoth collection of the Natural History Museum
in Rijeka (NHMR), collection of butterflies and moths
of Radovan Kranjčev from the Koprivnica city museum
(RKM), Koščecs’entomological collection from
theVaraždin city museum (KVCM), Hafners’collection
of Lepidopteraof the Slovenian Museum of Natural
History (H SMNH) and Badovinac (BFF) and
Henchentomological collection (HFF) at the Faculty
of Forestry, University of Zagreb, Croatia.Abbreviations
are used further in the text when referring to collections.
Specimens were identified by the wing morphology
according to Flamigni et al. (2007) and

Field data was gathered during the field trips in Istria,
on the Ćićarija Mt., Učka Mt. and coastal side of
theVelebit one night per week fieldtrips during
February and March 2009, with insufficient catch per
unit effort, referring to the limited number of only four
light traps per site.Adultmale moths were accessible
tostandardized sampling method by attractable light
UV-trapsOsram Blacklight L18W/73 – 600 mmwith
a white reflectable fabric on the pyramidal metal construction.
Aconstruction has a base length of two meters
and operates at a ground level.Light trap was on
from dusk till early morning, not less than 5 hours.
Given that females of the species are brachypterous
and therefore do not fly, we visually inspected oak
trees during daytime.

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RESULTS AND DISCUSSION– Rezultati i rasprava

Presented results are compiled from records published
in papers, data from collections of Croatian and
Slovenian museums and unpublished field data. The
oldest published papers on occurrence of theAngoran
Umberin Croatia date back to the beginning of the XX
century. Herman Stauder published the first find of the
Angoran Umber in Castelli near Spalato (Split, Dalmatia)
(male specimen deposited in the collection H
SMNH) (Naufock, 1915, Stauder, 1924, Hafner,
1994) andAlbert Naufock recorded a male specimens
in Pola (Pula, southern Istria) (Naufock,
1915). There is an additional published record of
species occurrence in forest Repaš in Podravina(Kovačević
& Franjević-Oštrec, 1978) but the
identification of that/those specimen/s could not be
confirmed because of no voucher specimen/s.

Reviewing entomological collections we found that
specimensidentified asE. ankerariaare not deposited
in the collections(*) or have been misidentified(**)
(RKM*; BFF and HFF*; I CNHM** (redet. E. defoliaria);
G CNHM** (redet. E. defoliaria). In collections
specimens ofE. ankerariaare not present. Reviewing
H SMNH in Ljubljana valid identificationof specimen


collected by Stauder on March 15 1908 in Kaštel Stari
(Castelli) (Hafner,1994) was confirmed (Fig.1).

As for almost 100 years there were no new or confirmed
records of this moth in Croatia, there is a great
lack in knowledge on species presence and distribution.
As light trapping yielded no results, in future research
pheromone trapping should be considered. Chemical,
pheromone communication among insect sexes is

Figure 1 Male specimen ofErannis ankerariafrom Kaštel Stari, Croatia deposited in the Hafner’scollection Ljubljana, Slovenia

Slika 1. Mužjak Erannis ankerarias lokaliteta Kaštel Stari, Hrvatska pohranjen u Hafnerovoj zbirci leptira u Ljubljani, Slovenija
(Photo –Foto: dr. sc. Nikola Tvrtković)

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prominent, and stereochemicals of genus Erannis are
known (not exclusivelyforE. ankerariaalthough mixture
of identified stereochemical components for the
genus can be used) (Hansson etal. 1990,Szöcs et
al. 1993, Goller et al. 2007). Therefore, pheromone
traps should be used in attracting males in their habitats.

Potential sites on which anAngoran Umber could be
found correspond with xerotermophilic sun-Mediterranean
oak forest (degraded) habitats (Čelik et al.
2004,Flamigni etal. 2007,Leraut 2009,Barčić
et al. 2011, Baričević & Šapić 2011). In xerotermophilic
environments these are represented with six
vegetation communities (Vukelić etal. 2008):

(1)mixed forest of Sessile Oak and Sweet Chestnut (As.
Querco-Castanetum sativae Horvat 1938) that occurs
in the Kvarner region above Kastav and Učka.

(2)forest of Sessile Oak withAutumn Moore grass (As.
Seslerio autumnalis-Quercetum petraeae Poldini/
1964/1982) which ispresent on a single locality
in Croatia, in Dragonja (Istria).

(3)thermophilic forest of Pubescent Oak with Tall
Moor grass (As. Molinio-Quercetum pubescentis
Šugar 1981) whichgrows in the flysch part of Istria
near Motovunski Novaki and represents part of a
larger complex of Pubescent Oak stands in which
Sessile Oak andTurkey Oakdominate.

(4)thermophilic and weakly acidophilic forest of Pubescent
Oak withWhite Cinquefoil(As.Potentillo
albae-Quercetum pubescentis A.O. Horvat 1973)
which has only been identified in the locality Bregi
in the flysch part of Istria (Vukelić etal., 2008).
The tree layer is dominated by Pubescent Oak,
Turkey Oak and Hop Hornbeam.

(5)forest and scrub of Pubescent Oak and Oriental
Hornbeam (As.Querco-Carpinetum orientalisHorvatić
1939) in the sub-Mediterranean zone of the littoral
belt from Istria to Dubrovnik.

(6)mixed forest and scrubs of Pubescent Oak and Hop
Hornbeam (As. Ostryo-Quercetum pubescentis
/Horvat 1950/Trinajstić 1979) in the northern Adriatic
(northern Istria, the littoral slopes of Velebit,
and the northern slopes of Bukovica).

After surveying potential habitats and defining current
distribution of species, obtained results could help
in proposing several forest management guidelines.
Proposal should focus on maintaining structure and
function of theAngoran Umber habitat – light Pubescent
Oak and Sessile Oakforests and forest edges,in
order to fulfill ecological requirementsand survival of
the species.As Lepidoptera are in general habitat-dependent,
forest management should consider providing
good stability and condition of forests and best protection
and conservation of specific microhabitats for this
threatened moth.

Figure 2
Erannis ankeraria and morphologically similar winter
moths Agriopis marginaria (Fabricius, 1776)(a), A. aurantiaria
(Hübner, 1799)(b) and A. defoliaria (Clerck,

Slika 2. Erannis ankeraria i morfološki slični mrazovci Agriopis
marginaria (Fabricius, 1776)(a), A. aurantiaria(Hübner,
1799)(b) iA. defoliaria(Clerck, 1759)(c)
(Photo –Foto: David Mihoci according to Leraut (2009)

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Table 1
Basic morphological and ecological characteristic for separation ofE. ankerariafrom the most similar (winter)
moths, see Figure 2. Modified according to Flamigni et al. (2007),and Leraut (2009) and Beshkov & Zlatkov
(2011). Abb. FW-forewing, HW-hindwing.

Tablica 1.Osnovne morfološke i ekološke značajke koje omogućuju razlikovanje vrste E. ankeraria od sličnih vrsta (mrazovaca),
vidi slika 2. Modificirano prema Flamigni i sur. (2007),i Leraut (2009) i Beshkov i Zlatkov (2011).
Kratice: FW-prednja krila, HW-stražnja krila.

Larval host plants
biljke hraniteljice
Flight time
vrijeme rojenja
Erannis ankeraria
FWlight beige with weak
transverse lines, HW
dirty-white, antennae
bipectinate without
a real pecten
prednja krila svjetlobež
boje s poprečnim linijama;
stražnja prljavo bijela;
ticala s nježnim dlačicama
bez “pravog češlja”
vrlo zakržljalih krila
Quercus pubescens
&Q. petraea
February tillApril
jedna generacija,
Agriopis marginaria
FWbrownish beige, distal
area darker with transverse
lines poorly distinct,
HW variable in color,
both wings with black
marginal dots; antennae
with 2-times longer pecten
prednja krila smeđe-bež
boje, vrhovi tamniji,
poprečne linije slabo
vidljive;stražnja krila
varijabilne boje; oba krila
s rubnim crnim točkama;
dvostruko češljasta
Wings with stumps,
but inadequate
for flight
zakržljalih krila,
nesposobna za let
Quercus, Betula,
Fagus, Populus,
Alnus, Prunus,
January tillApril
(rarely from
jedna generacija,
(vrlo rijetko
od prosinca)
Erannis defoliaria
FWwhitish with light
brown basal area and
postmedial line and
black discal spot,
HWwhitish; antennae
with 2-times longer pecten
prednja krila bjelkaste
boje sa smeđom bazom i
crnom diskalnom točkom;
stražnja bjelkaste boje;
dvostruko češljasta ticala
Quercus, Betula,
Crataegus, Salix,
October till
jedna generacija,
Agriopis aurantiaria
FWorangey yellow with
yellowish brown
transverse lines,
HWwhite; antennae with
2-times longer pecten
prednja krila narančasto
žuta s žutosmeđim
poprečnim linijama;
stražnja bijela;
dvostruko češljasta ticala
Dark brown, wings
with stumps
tamno smeđa,
zakržljala krila
Quercus, Carpinus,
Betula, Prunus,
October till
jedna generacija,

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1. An Angoran Umber is strictly protected taxa in
Croatia, endangered and rare, of EU importance,
and therefore listed in theAnnexes (II & IV) of the
EU Habitats Directive.
2. It belongs in the group of so called “winter moths”,
preferring xerothermophilous Mediterranean oak
forest habitats and depending on leaf feeding on Pubescent
Oak and Sessile Oaklarval host plants.
3. Current distribution of the species is based on reviewing
published papers, re-examination of material
from museums and University collections and
recent field data.Without current records, distribution
is based on two “historical” records– sites in
Istria and middle Dalmatia.

4. As potential habitats of this threatened species are
Pubescent Oak and Sessile Oakforests and forest
edges and degradation patches, foresters should be
the first involved in field data collecting and long-
term monitoring.
5. Future activities should focus on encouraging systematic
research (involving pheromone traps in
field methodology) of distribution and population
parameters of this species in Croatia. Efforts in improving
scarce knowledge and raising awareness
for detecting geometrid moth diversity in Croatia,
their ecological requirements and conservation in
general are also necessary.


The research was supported by the grant of
NATURA 2000 project in Croatia and by Croatian
Ministry of Science, Education and Sports as a part of
the Project No. 183-1193080-0831 grant to Dr. Sc.
NikolaTvrtković (Croatian Natural History Museum,

Baričević,D., I. Šapić, 2011: Prilog poznavanju
sastava i raščlanjenosti šuma hrasta crnike u Istri
(AContribution to the Knowledge of Composition
and Classification of Holm Oak Forests in
Istria). Croatian Journal of Forest Engineering
32(1): 87–98.
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na stanište i razvoj šumskih kultura crnoga
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području (Impact on Site and
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Zagreb).We are grateful to Prof. Dr. Mladen Kučinić
(Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb), Prof. Dr.
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and anonymous reviewers on their useful suggestions
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SAŽETAK: Mrazovac Erannis ankerariajedna je od najugroženijih vrsta
noćnih leptira iz porodice grbica, navedena u Dodatku II i IV Direktive o staništima
Europske Unije i zakonom zaštićena u Republici Hrvatskoj u kategoriji
strogo zaštićene zavičajne divlje svojte. Iako, taksonomski blizak i
morfološki vrlo sličan nekim našim vrlo čestim vrstama, među kojima se nalaze
i značajni štetni defolijatori poput velikog mrazovca (E. defoliaria), ovaj
se mrazovac nalazi iznimno rijetko i sporadično. Podaci o rasprostranjenju
vrste, njenim populacijskim parametrima, kao i stvarna razina ugroženosti, i
shodno tome, nužne mjere zaštite ove vrste u Hrvatskoj nisu do sada bili posebno
istraživani. Prema publiciranim podacima, vrsta je početkom prošlog

ŠUMARSKI LIST 7-8/2011 str. 26     <-- 26 -->        PDF

I. Mihoci & M. Franjević: RAREAND THREATENED GEOMETRID MOTH Erannis ankeraria IN CROATIA: ... Šumarski list br. 7–8, CXXXV (2011), 353-360

stoljeća zabilježena u Puli i Kaštel Starom. Provedeno istraživanje obuhvatilo
je detaljan pregled svih dostupnih relevantnih lepidopteroloških zbirki u
Hrvatskoj i Sloveniji, uz ponovnu re-evaluaciju primjeraka označenih kao

E.ankeraria. Ispostavilo se da u je u zbirkama u više navrata došlo do zamjene
s vrstomE. defoliariaili da jednostavno vrste nema u većini relevantnih
zbirki. Jedini valjano determiniran primjerak vrsteE. ankerariapotvrđen
je u zbirci Prirodoslovnog muzeja Slovenije, a odnosi se na nalaz Staudera
1908. godine kod Kaštel Starog. Tijekom ciljanih dvomjesečnih terenskih
istraživanja 2009. godine, vrsta nije potvrđena na lokalitetima dokumentiranih
prethodnih nalaza, kao i očekivanim lokacijama pridolaska s obzirom na
šumski vegetacijski tip, iz kojega potječu njeni rijetki nalazi.

Cilj pokrenutih istraživanja je da se nastave i prošire sustavna istraživanja
rasprostranjenja svojte, a kako se radi o pravom šumskom kukcu, da se u
njih uključi šumare-specijaliste zaštite šuma. U okviru postojećih programa
monitoringa šumskih kukaca-štetočinja, na kserotermofilnim submediteranskim
staništima hrasta medunca i hrasta kitnjaka, uz primamljivanje mužjaka
svjetlosnim klopkama, mogle bi se koristiti i feromonske klopke kao potecijalno
učinkovitiji način prikupljanja podataka o njenom rasprostranjenju.
Prikupljeni podaci poslužili bi u donošenju smjernica upravljanja ili akcijskog
plana svojte, kojim bi se utvrdio način upravljanja staništima u cilju
očuvanja njihove strukture i funkcije, a u svrhu zadovoljavanja ekoloških potreba
i očuvanja ove rijetke i prilično tajnovite vrste grbice u Hrvatskoj.