N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Poecilocampa populi (Linné, 1758)

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Phalaena (Bombyx) populi Linné, 1758: 502.
Type locality: None given
Type: Not designated. Syntypes in coll. The Linnean Collections at The Linnean Society of London (pictures)

december moth, december eggar
la lasiocampe du peuplier, le Bombyx du peuplier, la phalène du peuplier
kleine Pappelglucke, Pappelspinner, Laubwald-Wollspinner


: insect collections SLU, Uppsala      
Picture from: wikimedia commons: Vítezslav Manak (SLU) (CC-BY-SA-3.0)
Detailed view


The species is distributed in most parts of Europe (Karsholt & Nieukerken 2019). The vertical distribution reaches from the lowlands up to 1600 m, exceptionally even above 2000 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2019).


Styria, near Graz, Enzelsdorf , 2004.11.03 Styria, near Graz, Enzelsdorf, 2004.11.03 : Salzburg, city of Salzburg, Gnigl, 2012.11.24 : Salzburg, Hallein, Rif, 2000.11.17: Dead female after oviposition
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Styria, near Graz, Enzelsdorf, 2004.11.17      
Picture from: © Gillmann Johannes
Detailed view

No information is available about the natural biotope, because due to the late annual flight time, specimens are mostly found in gardens and parks. The animals fly especially in October and November, single specimens are even found as late as December or January, first ones alreay at the end of September (Kurz & Kurz 2019). The imagines are night-active (data between 22 and 23 o´clock CET following Kurz & Kurz 2019). Fullfed larvae can be found till June (Forster & Wohlfahrt 1960).

Stages in development:

Eggs: Salzburg, Hallein, Rif, 2000.11.17, Picture taken 2000.11.26      
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

The larvae feed on deciduous woods.

Worth knowing:


Forster, W. & Th. A. Wohlfahrt 1960. Die Schmetterlinge Mitteleuropas. Bd. III Spinner und Schwärmer (Bombyces und Sphinges). Franckh´sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart, 239 pp., 8 SW-Tafeln, 28 Farbtafeln.
Karsholt, O. & Nieukerken, E.J. van. 2019. Lepidoptera, Moths. Fauna Europaea version 2017.06, https://fauna-eu.org [online 2019.05.14].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2019. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 2019.05.14].
Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae, Ed. X. (Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata.) Holmiae. Systema Nat. ed. 10 i-ii + 1-824.

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2017.03.30
Kurz Michael: 2019.05.15
Kurz Michael: 2019.05.22
not reviewed