Systematics Monotypic. Most closely related to other European genera (Grehan, 2012)
Habitat Open and semi-open habitats such as old pastures
Biology Adults fly mostly at dusk and evening in June and July. In some localities flights also occur in the early to mid afternoon (Turner, 2014). The males attract females by emitting scent pheromones from large hair tufts on their hind legs during a slow, hovering and pendulating flight over the vegetation or up and down a tree trunk. Males generally fly in groups (leks) of a few dozen to a few hundred individuals, but swarms of several thousands have been observed. Link to video of lekking males
Eggs are laid by being dropped to the ground by the female while in flight. Larvae live in tunnels in the soil where they feed on the roots of various herbs and grasses. Larval development lasts from July to April References Andersson, S., Rydel, J., Svensson, M.G.E. 1998. Light, predation and the lekking behavior of the ghost moth Hepialus humuli (L.) (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae). Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 264, 1345-1351. Grehan, J.R. 2012.Morphological evidence for phylogenetic relationships within the Hepialidae (Lepidoptera: Exoporia). Bulletin of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences 42, 33-62. Kaaber, S., Kristensen, N.P. and Simonsen, T.J. 2009. Sexual dimorphism and geographical male polymorphism in the ghost moth Hepialushumuli (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae): scale ultrastructure and evolutionary aspects. European Journal of Entomology 106, 303-313. Turner, J.R.G. 2014. Anomalous daylight flight in Phymatopus hecta (Linnaeus, 1758) and other crepuscular and nocturnal moths (Lepidoptera: Hepialidae, Geometridae). Entomologist's Gazette 65, 97-104.