Conservation

In 1971, to protect Brahmaea europaea, an interesting and rare endemic species, the Italian Forestry Commission designated the natural reserve 'Grotticelle'. This site of around 200 hectares was the first protected area in the world established to preserve a lepidopteran.

However, in spite of being protected, the B. europaea is still threatened by:

  • unscrupulous collectors
  • forest fires
  • the general failures and hindrances that are often frequent in the management of protected areas
  • artificial lights, which attract nocturnal insects and disrupt their natural behaviour.

Practical solutions to the problem of artificial lighting could include 

  • reduction of the illumination during the short flight period of the moth, and 
  • the use of filters or specific light sources to minimise further the light pollution.

The species would certainly benefit from an expansion of the natural reserve as the moth is now known to occur in a much wider area.

The species has not been evaluated by CITES or IUCN and, perhaps surprisingly, is not even listed in the red book of Italian invertebrates.