35.019 Anarsia lineatella Zeller, 1839

Status and Distribution

See note below relating to a recently named look-alike, Anarsia innnoxiella.

A. lineatella was first found in the British Isles as a larval adventive in imported fruit in 1957 and it has continued as such on an occasional basis since then. It has only once been confirmed in the wild (to MV light), in Dorset in 2003 but the origin of this moth cannot, with certainty, be attributed to migration.

Until early in 2017, Anarsia lineatella was considered to have established itself as a very local resident in parts of southern and south-east England. Based on data received so far, all but one of these records, where specimens or good photos have been available for examination, are referable to Anarsia innoxiella, a newly identified species in 2017.

To establish the true status of both A. lineatella and A. innoxiella in Britain, a good quality photograph or specimen (of previously caught or new specimens) should be made available to your County Moth Recorder.

National Status: 

Nationally Scarce A

Bradley & Fletcher no: 


Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by February 2016.

    Set Specimens

    857 Anarsia lineatella - (female) bred from nectarine bought in superstore Plympton, Plymouth, Devon on 23.ix.1991, em. 16.x.1991 (Photo: R J Heckford)   857 Anarsia lineatella - (male) bred from nectarine bought in shop at The Lizard, Cornwall on 28.viii.1993, em. 14.ix.1993 (Photo: R J Heckford)

    Dissection Group

    Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

    Larva (subsequently bred) have been found on a range of imported fruit including Prunus armeniaca (apricot), P. persica (peach), P. persica var. nectarina (nectarine),Prunus sp. (cherries of French origin) and Spondias sp. (spanish plum). Perhaps unsurprisingly, in view of the recent discovery that most wild caught A. lineatella in Britain are referable to A. innoxiella (which feeds on Acer spp.), the larva of lineatella has not been found in the wild in the British Isles or Channel Islands.

    An additional foodplant in Europe is Prunus dulcis (almond).


    First recorded and bred from a larva found feeding inside an imported peach on 8th August 1957.  It currently seems unlikely that this species breeds in the wild in Britain.

    Finding the Moth

    Larva: frass and fruit damage have been found around the stalk base on imported apricot, nectarine, peach and plum. In France the larva has been found in the spring feeding inside a peach flower-bud expelling dry reddish frass through a hole.

    Adult: an adventive bred from imported fruit. A single record of an adult at light might indicate it is also a rare migrant into Britain but an adventive origin of this wild-caught moth cannot be excluded.

    Similar Species

    Until 2017 most British specimens were confused with the recently named A. innoxiella from which it is best separated by the generally darker forewing (more black and white in standard A. innoxiella) and the longitudinal black spot followed by a whitish area in the middle of the forewing (a straight black elongate streak in A. innoxiella).

    A fine-streaked form of Anarsia spartiella might be confused wiith some less well marked or worn A. lineatella or A. innoxiella with short fine black lines. This is particularly the case if the moth has an indistinct costal blotch at one half which may be confused with the angled dark-grey to blackish subquadrate costal mark present in A. lineatella.

    The large and dense tuft of projecting scales present on segment two of the palps in Anarsia sp. are present to a much lesser extent in Gelechia senticetella (which is slightly smaller and brownish-grey but can be quite heavily streaked with black) and G. sabinellus.

    Larval Occurrence

    Larval Occurrence

    Flight Period

    Flight Period

    In the wild occurs at light from the end of June to late August presumably as a single brood. In 2009 it was recorded at light in late May and there is also a record of an imago found on the Channel Islands on the 9th September 1962. The latter however gives no details as to the circumstances of its capture. The dates below relate to specimens reported at light traps.

    Earliest: 24th May 2009 (VC13)

    Latest: 21st August 2013 (VC15)