MIL OSI Translation. Region: Germany / Deutschland –
Source: Association for the Environment and Nature Conservation Germany The brown bear is butterfly of the year 2021. (Tim Laußmann) Berlin / Düsseldorf. The Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany (BUND) and the Nature Conservation Foundation of the North Rhine-Westphalian BUND state association have named the brown bear (Arctia caja) Butterfly of the Year 2021. By choosing the moth, you indicate the negative consequences of artificial lighting. The brown bear is in decline nationwide and is on the warning list of endangered animals. In addition to light pollution, the intensification of agriculture, the elimination of hedges and woodlands in the landscape and land consumption are also the reasons for the decline in the amount of land. Jochen Behrmann from the nature conservation foundation of BUND NRW: “The brown bears are attracted by nightly light sources and then flutter disoriented to the point of exhaustion around them. In addition to the direct losses, the insects lose valuable energy and time for finding partners and for reproduction, and predators such as bats have an easy job. ”Like most nocturnal insects, the brown bear can orient itself well in weak moon or starlight. In contrast, the bright blue light from the high-pressure mercury vapor lamps used in street and industrial lighting particularly blinds the animals. These lamps should therefore be switched off temporarily or replaced by sodium vapor lamps and modern, economical LEDs that emit little or no blue light. With a wingspan of up to 65 millimeters, the brow bear is one of the larger moths in Germany and occurs in the temperate zones of Europe, Asia and North America. His settlement areas include light forests, bushes, meadows and heaths, but also near-natural gardens. The forewings are dark brown in color with a large-meshed white pattern. With folded forewings, the moths are excellently camouflaged in the tangle of branches with light and shadow while they rest during the day. The hind wings, however, are bright red with round blue-black colored points. By opening the front wings at lightning speed, the moth shows these red rear wings in case of danger and can frighten birds and escape itself. The conspicuous hind wings also warn of the inedibility of the butterfly, because the body fluids of the butterflies contain poisonous substances. The butterflies fly in midsummer and do not ingest any food. They therefore only live for a short time. The caterpillars are able to feed on many different plants and overwinter on the ground. The species got its name from the dense brownish “bear-like” hairs of the older caterpillars. BUND NRW Naturschutzstiftung and BUND have been choosing the butterfly of the year since 2003 to draw attention to the importance and threat to the species. Profile of the brown bear (Arctia caja) Systematics: The brown bear (Arctia caja) is a moth from the Erebidae family. This consists of several subfamilies, including the subfamily of the Arctiinae, the bear moth, or bears for short. The name “bear” is explained by looking at their very hairy caterpillars. When bear caterpillars are disturbed, some species exhibit clumsy, bear-like locomotion. The generic name Arctia also goes back to the Greek word arktos for bear. Habitat: Ecological diversity is one of the main requirements of the brown bear for his habitat, he prefers structured, moist and cool habitats: in the forest, for example, paths and aisles, inland and outer fringes, Clearings and clear cuts, damp forest meadows. But the open land, rich in bushes, is also inhabited, for example extensively managed, often more humid meadows, including bogs, grasslands, embankments, banks, embankments, even gravel pits and natural gardens. Feeding of the caterpillars: The caterpillars feed on different plants, herbs and Perennials to deciduous trees. For example, caterpillars have been found on dock species, dandelions and nettles, and meadowsweet. Among the shrubs, raspberries and blackberries are represented as well as willows and oaks as well as ash trees and many others.Description adults: With a wingspan of up to 65 millimeters, the moths are among the larger moths in Germany. The top of the forewings is dark brown with a large meshed white pattern. The hind wings, however, are bright red with round blue-black colored points. With folded, brown-white front wings, the moths are excellently camouflaged in the tangle of branches with light and shadow when they rest on tree trunks during the day. By opening the front wings at lightning speed, the moths show the red hind wings with the dark “eyes” and can thus frighten predators such as birds and escape themselves, but also remind of their inedibility, because the body fluid of the moth contains poisonous substances. Food for the adults: the proboscis The moths have regressed, they cannot suckle nectar. Generations: The brown bear forms one generation per year with the main flight time in July and August. Life cycle: The females lay the eggs on the underside of leaves, in smaller or larger single layers so-called ice mirrors, which can contain several hundred eggs. The eggs are round and look creamy white freshly laid, they turn gray before the caterpillars hatch in late summer. The caterpillars overwinter and can therefore be found both in autumn and in spring until around June. Even the caterpillars and young caterpillars are hairy and develop their “bear fur” better with each moult. The furry, up to 6 cm long adult caterpillars are observed more frequently in early summer than the nocturnal moths later, as they also like to wander over streets and paths during the day in their search for pupation sites. Pupation takes place in a web near the ground. Endangerment causes: As with many insects, there is not one cause of danger. It is a multifactorial event: In addition to the direct losses due to predators and weakening, the insects lose valuable time for searching for partners and for reproduction due to the exhausting fluttering around nocturnal light sources. But also the elimination of wasteland and uncultivated land, the disappearance of hedges and field trees, dark and monotonous forests as a result of forestry use, intensification of agriculture with fertilizers and pesticides, intensive “care” of roads and paths along with embankments and ditches, urban sprawl the landscape and traffic load are to be mentioned. In addition to the destruction of habitat and the deterioration of habitat quality, the remaining “good” areas are becoming ever smaller and further apart, which can favor the isolation of populations and make repopulation more difficult. The brown bear is regarded as a bio-indicator for natural communities and as a cultural refugee. It is sensitive to sources of interference. Distribution: The brow bear is a kind of cool, temperate zone in the northern hemisphere and there in Europe from the Iberian Peninsula to Western and Central Europe to East Asia, but also in North America. Endangerment / Red List: The Populations of this once very common and known, conspicuous butterfly are declining nationwide, even if it occurs in all federal states. In Germany as a whole (Red List 2011) it is a kind of pre-warning list. More information Picture gallery of the butterfly of the year 2021 (click on pictures to enlarge)
Eggs of the brown bear (Tim Laußmann) Doll of the brown bear (Tim Laußmann) Caterpillar of the brown bear (Tim Laußmann) Well camouflaged: brown bear on a tree trunk (Tim Laußmann)
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.