35.025 Dichomeris alacella (Zeller, 1839)

Status and Distribution

Formerly scarce with indications of a general increase in its distribution and numbers during the first decade of the 21st century. Occurs very locally in south and eastern England from Somerset to Norfolk, south-east Wales and the Channel Islands.  There are single old records from Warwickshire and Yorkshire, the latter of which requires confirmation. Absent from south-west England, most of Wales, Scotland, Northen Ireland and Ireland.

National Status: 

Nationally Scarce B

Bradley & Fletcher no: 

Photo courtesy of UK Moths.
Photographer: John Bebbington FRPS
Location: Langport, Somerset

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by February 2016.


    Dichomeris alacella Dunwich, Suffolk, 2012 (Photo: Paul Kitchener)  Dichomeris alacella (Photo: J Bebbington)  Dichomeris alacella Glos 2016 (Photo: O Wadsworth)

    Dissection Group

    Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

    Feeds on lichens on tree trunks.  This reference appears to relate to observations in Europe in the first half of the 19th century and mentioned subsequently by Stainton, Meyrick and Emmet and Langmaid. To date I have been unable to find any reference to the larva having been found in Britain.


    Woodland, with a suggestion it is associated with ancient broad-leaved woodland.

    Finding the Moth

    Larva: searches on lichens on the mature broad-leaved trees and on long-established fruit trees would be beneficial.

    Adult: rests on tree-trunks by day, comes to light and sugar by night.

    Similar Species

    Superficially similar to the two Neofriseria species but can be readily distinguished by the pale-tipped brownish-black labial palps and the forewings which are more pointed and have obvious pale creamy-white patches beyond each of the three prominent black stigmata.

    Larval Occurrence

    Larval Occurrence

    Flight Period

    Flight Period

    Single-brooded in July and August.

    Earliest: 28th June 2011 (VC11)

    Latest: 29th August 2001 (VC113)