35.092 Mirificarma lentiginosella (Zeller, 1839)

Status and Distribution

Local in southern England, very local in central and northern England and a single old record from Pembrokeshire, Wales. Absent from Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

Not recorded since 1980 in one third of the vice counties for which records are known suggesting a decline in line with that of its foodplant. Despite this, good numbers of the moth were found in Northumberland for the first time in 2013, suggesting that targeted searches could perhaps yield records from some of its old haunts or new localities.

National Status: Nationally Scarce A
Bradley & Fletcher no: 793
Photographer: © O Wadsworth
Location: Worcestershire

Provisional map


Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

Genista tinctoria, Worcs., 2014 (Photo: © S Palmer)  Mirificarma lentiginosella foodplant Hampshire 2015 (Photo: © S Palmer)

Genista tinctoria (dyer's greenweed), see plant distribution map.

In Europe also found on Genista anglica (petty whin), Genista germanica, Chamaespartium saggitale and Laburnum anagyroides (laburnum).

Spins the terminal shoots.


Mirificarma lentiginosella habitat Worcs 2014 (Photo: © S Palmer)  Mirificarma lentiginosella habitat Hampshire 2015 (Photo: © S Palmer)  Mirificarma lentiginosella habitat Glamorgan 2018 (Photo: © G Tordoff)

Old meadows where agricultural practises have not reduced plant diversity, grassy heathland and chalk downland.

Finding the Moth

Larva: feeds within spun terminal shoots.

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

Similar Species

Best separated from other brown gelechiids by the presence in the forewing of the ochreous edged black spot and the pinkish apical spot. Worn specimens may require dissection.

May, June

Single brooded in August. July is mentioned in the Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland Vol 4 (2) but, to date, no July records have been received by the Scheme. Most records on the database are of bred moths where dates are not taken into account in the flight graph.

Earliest: 4th August 1920 (VC24)

Latest: 2nd September 1999 (VC9)