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Oak MarbleLobesia reliquana

We don't know very much about this species. We couldn't find much on the internet either. Many pictures shown are of dead specimens in museums. They are all rather colourless, dull and stuffy and nothing like a living one. The basic colour is orange brown. On top are big dark patches, some of them bordered with some white scales. Within the dark patches some scales even seem to be red. In short: this is a colourful and beautiful species. The hindwings are not that colourful (they hardly ever are). They are white at the base, becoming darker nearing the top. That top itself is black. It is a very tiny species, for the wingspan is hardly ever over 15 mm.

There is only one generation a year and that is on the wing quite early: from April to the end of June. The caterpillars prefer lots of plants, including some garden plants such as roses and composites. But usually the larvae live up trees, especially birch and oak. Adults only fly at night and are almost never attracted to lights. Usually one sees them during the day resting on leaves of plants and shrubs. The species often appears irregularly. In some years many seem to be flying about, while in other years none are seen.

The Oak Marble is a rather common species all over Europe, Northern Asia and Japan, but not in the Balkans. Locally common in England, scarce in Wales.