Worcestershire Record No. 6 April 1999 p. 8


(Microlepidoptera, Family Incurvariidae, sub-family Adelinae)

Kevin McGee

Another New Record for Tiddesley Wood

In Tiddesley Wood on 19.7.98 a rather beautiful little micro-moth was found on teasel leaves. I recognised it as one of the strongly metallic-looking 'longhorn moths' as it was fairly similar to the very common Adela reamurella, but having enough points of difference to warrant a photograph. The main differences were the peculiar antennae , being black from the base to mid-point before becoming white towards the tip, and the very noticeable orange-red head. The forewings were very dark metallic bronzes, blacks and greens, not unlike Adela reamurella (often referred to as the Golden Longhorn in general reference books).

On receiving my transparency photograph I was unable to identify the moth from my books so I asked Dr ANB Simpson to take a look for me. I am indebted to Tony for the following information.

The photograph clearly shows a female Nemophora cupriacella. The male lacks the orange head, it being black and he has longer antennae. This is the first Worcestershire record of the species since 1929. S J Carlier took two specimens at the Wyre Forest, Worcs., in July 1929, and they are currently housed in the Birmingham Natural History Museum. There is an earlier specimen in the Worcester Museum, taken at Oddingley, near Worcester in June 1853.

The female oviposits in the developing seeds of members of the scabious family where the larvae feed before descending to the leaf litter. There it constructs a protective 'case' before completing its development in the litter. It may also feed on members of the teasel family in the same way. Both teasel Dipsacus fullonum, and Devil's-bit scabious Succisa pratensis grow in profusion side-by-side along the main ride in Tiddesley Wood where the moth was found..



Many thank to Dr Tony Simpson (County Moth Recorder) for supplying me with the information


Blamey M & Grey-Wilson C 1989 The Illustrated Flora of Britain and Northern Europe. Domino Books.
Robbins, J. 1997 (revised edition) A provisional atlas of the lepidoptera of Warwickshire, Part 3. The smaller moths and more primitive larger moths.

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