Characteristics of Brahmaea europaea
- Adult males have a wingspan of 60-65mm, whilst females are slightly larger, with a wingspan of 65-75mm.
- Both sexes have bipectinate antennae, somewhat broader in males.
- At rest, the wings are held in a roof-like position.
- The abdomen is bulky and hairy in both sexes, slightly pointed in males.
- The legs are stout and hairy.
- The head bears two large eyes and reduced mouthparts, and the adult does not feed.
Most Brahmaeidae species share a particular wing pattern resembling willow-weaved baskets, which helps conceal them in their environment.
B. europaea wing pattern:
- The apex of the forewings bears a dark apical spot and an attractive series of dark and light brown wavy lines separated by a median band of irregular spots merging into each other, with a larger, rounder one at the base.
- The wavy pattern is repeated from the margin to the middle of the hind wings.
- The basal part of the hind wings is a grey-violet colour with brown venation.
The wing pattern is similar in both males and females but varies a great deal between individuals.
This species has been placed by some recent authors in a separate genus, Acanthobrahmaea, as the wing venation differs from other Palaearctic species of the genus Brahmaea.