35.087 Neofriseria peliella (Treitschke, 1835)

Status and Distribution

Very local, on the south-east coast of England in Kent (where it can be locally abundant) and East Sussex. More recently it has been found at two inland sites in Middlesex and in 2015, on Hayling Island, Hampshire.

Historic records of an unknown Neofriseria species in parts of Hampshire could refer to N. peliella or N. singula. Because of this it is not possible at this stage to speculate if N. peliella is extending its range westward or not.

Some early records of N. peliella may refer to N. singula. There is also potential for confusion over the identification of these two due to their external similarity (particularly with worn, non-bred specimens) and that the genitalia are similar.

National Status: 

pRDB 2

Bradley & Fletcher no: 

798
Photo courtesy of UK Moths.
Photographer: Steve Gale
Location: Dungeness, Kent

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by February 2018.

    Imago

    Larva

    Neofriseria peliella larva Kent 2015

    Set Specimens

    Neofriseria peliella bred from Rumex acetosella, Dungeness, Kent 1990 (Photo: R J Heckford)

    Dissection Group

    Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

    Rumex acetosella (sheep's sorrel), see plant distribution map.

    In a silken tube at the base of a stem.

    Foodplant Map

    Habitat

    Neofriseria peliella habitat Kent 2015 (photo: S. Palmer)  Neofriseria peliella habitat Kent 2015 (photo: S. Palmer)

    Confined to dry open habitats, mainly on coastal shingle.

    Finding the Moth

    Larva: feeds in an obvious white silken tube at the base of the stems on the lowest leaves which can occasionally be drawn together around the stem.

    Adult: can be swept from the foodplant and comes to light.

    Similar Species

    Neofriseria peliella and N. singula are very similar with just enough variation in the wing markings to allow the identification of reasonably fresh specimens. The genitalia are also similar and the easiest way to separate the two is by the colour of the larva (see below).

    N. peliella has the lower of the two black spots at two-fifths on the forewing usually slightly basad of the upper. The forewing colour is blackish fuscous with the base of the scales greyish giving a slightly mottled appearance. In N. singula the spots at two-fifths are directly one above the other and the forewing colour is greyish fuscous with a variable ammount of dusting of dull yellowish-white scales. N. singula is slightly smaller on average (13-15mm wingspan) than N. peliella (13-16mm) but there is considerable overlap.

    The frons (front of the face) is pale ochreous at the base and greyish brown above in N. peliella with the vertex (top of the head) dark fuscous to blackish. In N. singula the frons is dull to greyish white, darker above with the vertex mixed whitish and blackish brown.

    Genitalia differences are only discernable in the males, with that of N. peliella being broader in the uncus, having a stouter harpe and a more evenly tapering tip to the aedeagus.

    The larvae are distinctive with the body of N. peliella being chocolate-brown and that of N. singula pale dull green; both have black heads and prothoracic plates. It should be noted that the larva of Aroga velocella and Teleiopsis diffinis both feed on sheep's sorrel in silken tubes near the base of the stem.

    Studies at a locality in Denmark, where both species occur at the same site, have supported the specific distinctness as each is attracted to a different pheromone.

    Larval Occurrence

    Larval Occurrence

    Flight Period

    Flight Period

    Single brooded from the end of June to early August.

    Earliest: 9th June 2014 (VC15) - next earliest is 26th June 2014.

    Latest: 19th August 1958 (VC15)