35.014 Mesophleps silacella (Hübner, 1796)

Status and Distribution

Formerly found in East Sussex, near Brighton, where it was always scarce and last recorded in late 1906.  Now considered extinct.

National Status: Extinct
Bradley & Fletcher no: 860
Photographer: Photo wanted

Provisional map


Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

Helianthemum nummularium (common rock-rose), see plant distribution map.

In Europe also reported on Fumana procumbens.

Feeding signs may not be obvious as the larva feeds inside the seed capsule.


Chalk downland.

Finding the Moth

Any searches for this extinct species should look at areas where common rock-rose occurs in quantity on downland sites in the extreme south and south-east of England. It is reported by A. C. Vine (via a note written by E. R. Bankes) that it ......'is on the wing, with heavy flight, from 7pm to 8.30pm on calm and hot evenings'.

Similar Species

A distinctive species with large tufted labial palps and forewings a pale yellowish-ochreous with reddish brown spotting and markings around the edge (see Natural History Museum, Cockayne collection website).


June, July

Single brooded from late June to the end of July.