Athalia cordata

    Description

    Length: 7mm. Orange bodied with black on the top of the thorax and a broad black band on the sides and under-thorax. Athalia cordata is the most common of the nine Athalia species found in Britain. All have yellow/orange legs and abdomen with at least some black on the thorax and tyipcally have dark tips to the tibiae and 'stripy' tarsi. They are very difficult to distinguish without microscopic examination, though the larvae can be more easily identified especially as each species favours different food plants.

    Similar Species

    Athalia species are sometimes confused with Arge ochropus - they both have the stripy black and yellow 'rugby socks', but the antennae of Arge (with the small flagellar segments fused into one big one) distinguishes them.

    Photo ID?
    Habitat

    Most often seen around Bugle plants and commonly found in gardens.

    When to see it

    April/May to August/September.

    Life History

    The larvae are bluish-black and normally associated with Bugle (Ajuga reptans), Antirrhinum and Plantago species.

    UK Status

    Very common and widespread in Britain, though under-recorded.

    VC55 Status

    Common in Leicestershire and Rutland.

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    UK Map