Seq # 110040010

Triodia sylvina (Linnaeus, 1761) Species

Last modified: March 31, 2023, 1:47 p.m.

This species is, throughout Belgium, the most common species of the Hepialidae family.


Family: Hepialidae > Genus: Triodia > Species: Triodia sylvina
Vernacular names
Oranje wortelboorder (NL), Orange Swift (EN), Sylvine (FR), Ampfer-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 Sylvinus). view page




The size of T. sylvina is very variable and its wingspan ranges from 31 to 49 mm. In this species, especially in the male, the forewings are orange-brown and carry two narrow, fairly straight and uninterrupted dark-edged whitish diagonal lines that form an inverted 'V'. However, these lines do not touch. The wing cilia are not chequered. The female is slightly larger and is less contrasting coloured than the male. As in all other Hepialidae species, the antennae are remarkably short and the moths lack functioning mouth parts so they cannot feed.

Museum specimens

Specimens in nature


The shiny and dirty-white caterpillar has an orange-brown head and somewhat paler thoracal plates. The stigmata are dark brown to black.

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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 small herbaceous plants and probably also on grasses. This species hibernates twice as a larva and pupates in the ground.The adults come readily to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly from July till mid September but the main flight period is in August. This is considerably later in the year than the other species of this family.

Observed on

Host plant (genera):
Pteridium, Taraxacum and Rumex
Herbaceous plants

The larva lives in the roots of various small herbaceous plants like: Rumex spp., Taraxacum spp., Pteridium aquilinum and probably also Gramineae.

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This species inhabits moorland, waste ground and other wild places.

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