Seq # 110010010

Hepialus humuli (Linnaeus, 1758) Species

Last modified: March 31, 2023, 1:44 p.m.

A rather common species throughout Belgium.


Family: Hepialidae > Genus: Hepialus > Species: Hepialus humuli
Vernacular names
Hopwortelboorder (NL), Ghost Moth (EN), Hépiale du houblon (FR), Hopfen-Wurzelbohrer (DE)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1837. Catalogue des Lépidoptères ou Papillons de la Belgique, précédé du tableau des Libellulines de ce pays. — — : 1–29. On page 24 (as Hepialus Humuli). view page




H. humuli is a fairly large moth having a wingspan of 40–70 mm. This species shows a very notable sexual dimorphism: the forewings of the male are silvery white with buff fringes while the highly variable female has yellowish forewings with inconstant orange to brown markings. In general, the female is also considerably larger than the male. The antennae are strikingly short and the moths lack functioning mouth parts so they cannot feed.

Museum specimens

Specimens in nature


The caterpillar is pale yellow with some scattered implanted dark-coloured hairs. The head is brown and the lateral sides carry distinctive blackish stigmata.



Females of this species scatter their eggs over plants as they fly over them in a suitable biotope. The larva lives on the roots of grasses and small herbaceous plants. It hibernates as a larva once or twice and pupates in a cocoon in the ground. The adults are active from dusk onwards and, later on, come to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly in one generation a year: from late May till the beginning of August.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Humulus lupulus
Host plant (genera):
Grasses and Herbaceous plants

Roots of Gramineae and small herbaceous plants like Humulus lupulus and Rumex spp.

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This species can be found on roughs, along field edges and roadsides and in gardens.

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