35.051 Aristotelia subdecurtella (Stainton, 1859)

Status and Distribution

Formerly a rare and local species of the East Anglian Fens now considered extinct in Britain. All but one of the records were from Wicken Fen, Cambs., between 1858 and 1931; the other was from the Norfolk Fens at Ranworth in 1874.

It is suggested that it may still be present on some fenland sites.

The distribution map depicted on page 100 in The Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland Volume 4 (Part2) does not relate to this species.

National Status: Extinct
Bradley & Fletcher no: 751

Provisional map


Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife), see plant distribution.

In Europe also found on Stachys palustris (marsh woundwort) and Veronica anagallis-aquatica (blue water-speedwell).

Feeds in spun shoots.



Finding the Moth

Larva: in spun shoots in June (in Europe feeds in May and June).

Adult: most records appear to relate to bred specimens.

It would appear searches for the larvae would be the best way to attempt to relocate this moth at either of its former sites. However, anyone running a light trap adjacent to purple loosestrife in July in the East Anglian fens is requested to keep an eye out for this distinctive species.

Similar Species

A distinctive species although it might initially be confused with a Caryocolum species. On the forewing, the broad creamy white fascia at four fifths and a deep band of pale chestnut scales along the dorsum (trailing edge) are defintive.

June, July

Single brooded, from late June into July but there is only one full date currently on the Scheme database (27th June 1868).