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 locally in southern 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 may require confirmation. Absent from south-west England, most of Wales, Scotland, Northen Ireland and Ireland.

National Status: 

Nationally Scarce B

Bradley & Fletcher no: 

851
Photo courtesy of UK Moths.
Photographer: John Bebbington FRPS
Location: Langport, Somerset

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by February 2016.

    Imago

    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

    Said to feed on lichens on tree trunks although this reference appears to relate to observations in Europe in the first half of the 19th century and subsequently repeated by Stainton, Meyrick, Emmet and Langmaid. A reference to the larva having been found in Britain has, so far, not been located.

    Habitat

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

    Finding the Moth

    Larva: feeding signs might be found on lichens on the trunks of mature broad-leaved trees in old woodland or on the trunks of long-established fruit trees.

    Adult: rests on tree-trunks by day and 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, flying in July and August.