35.060 Apodia bifractella (Duponchel, 1843)

Status and Distribution

Local to locally common in the Channel Islands and southern and south-eastern England northwards to Worcestershire. More local elsewhere in England, north to Lancashire and Yorkshire, and in Wales. Not recorded in Scotland, Isle of Man, Ireland or Northern Ireland.

National Status: 

Local

Bradley & Fletcher no: 

730
Photo courtesy of UK Moths.
Photographer: Ian Kimber
Location: ex.seedheads of Pulicaria dysenterica

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by February 2016.

    Imago

    Larva

    Dissection Group

    Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

     Apodia bifractella feeding signs in seedheads of Common Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) Dorset October 2014 (Photo: J Seawright)  Apodia bifractella feeding signs in seedheads of Common Fleabane (Pulicaria dysenterica) Dorset October 2014 (Photo: J Seawright)

    Inula conyzae (ploughman’s-spikenard), Pulicaria dysenterica (common fleabane), see plant distribution map, and Aster tripolium (sea aster). Adults have been seen on the flower-heads of Inula crithmoides (golden-samphire) and a garden Inula species but attempts to breed from collected seed-heads of the former have not produced any moths.

    In Europe, also found on Inula hirta and I. salicina.

    Some bunching of the florets may be visible in occupied seed-heads.

    Foodplant Map

    Habitat

    Due to the range of larval food-plants utilised, the moth can be found over a wide range of differing habitats. These include open dry grassland on chalk and limestone, banks, quarries, roadsides, rough ground, open damp meadows, by rivers, streams, canals, ditches, dune-slacks and edges of saltmarshes.

    Finding the Moth

    Larva: feeds within the seedheads from October onwards and pupates within the feeding area from April to June.

    Adult: flies in late afternoon sunshine, occasionally rests on the flower-heads of the larval food-plants and later comes to light. Adults have been found on the flower-heads of Inula crithmoides (golden-samphire) and a garden Inula species

    Similar Species

    The orange-yellow head and orange z-shaped fascia in the final third of the forewing make this a distinctive species. On occasions this species can have the dark brown of the forewing replaced with light biscuit-brown and the paler fascia absent or almost so. Such specimens may require dissection. Similar to the European A. martinii Petry but see below.

    In Karsholt and Razowski, 1996, The Lepidoptera of Europe, a Distributional Checklist, the presence of Apodia martinii in Northern and Eastern Europe is reported although it goes on to say 'the status of martinii as separate from bifractella is still somewhat doubtful'. A search on the Fauna Europaea online checklist in 2016 reports that A. martinii is present in Germany and doubtfully present in Austria but there is no reference as to whether opinions have changed on the status of A. martinii since 1996.

    Larval Occurrence

    Larval Occurrence

    Flight Period

    Flight Period

    Single brooded from mid-July to early September.

    Earliest: 27th June 1937 (VC10)

    Latest: 16th September 2000 (VC11)