35.021 Dichomeris juniperella (Linnaeus, 1761)

Status and Distribution

Scarce, occuring very locally in the central Highlands of Scotland.

National Status: pRDB 1
Bradley & Fletcher no: 863
Photographer: © S Palmer
Location: Aberdeenshire

Provisional map


Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

Dichomeris juniperella foodplant, Aberdeenshire 2016 (Photo: © S Palmer)  Dichomeris juniperella larval spinning Scotland 2019 (Photo: © S Palmer)

Juniperus communis (common juniper), see plant distribution map.

In dense silken spinnings amongst the needles.


Crathie Wood 2012 (Photo: © S Palmer)  Dichomeris juniperella habitat, Aberdeenshire 2016 (Photo: © S Palmer)  Dichomeris juniperella habitat Scotland 2019 )Photo: © S Palmer)  Dichomeris juniperella habitat Scotland 2019 (Photo: © S Palmer)

The lower slopes of mountains and glens in sheltered south facing areas adjacent to or amongst open woodland, but apparently not on juniper plants under trees.

Finding the Moth

Larva: in a silken spinning amongst the needles. The species has a mixed development strategy with larvae being fully fed by early September (occasionally pupating by then). Alternatively the species will overwinter as an egg or small larva (currently not known which), feeding up in the spring until June.

Adult: can be beaten from the foodplant and is attracted to light.

Similar Species

The distinctive palps, pale greyish forewing colour with black outer edging along the termen and a few black central spots are distinctive.

January, February, March, April, May, June, August, September, October, November, December
June, July

Single-brooded from mid-June to the end of July.  There has been a single confirmed record of an adult on the 9th September 2011.  There are only a very limited number of reports of the adult, most having been bred.