Status and Distribution
Considered extinct, not having been recorded in Britain since 1926 although it is suggested it may be overlooked. Formerly occured at a dozen or so widely separated parts of England from Kent in the south-east, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire in the west, to south Cumbria and Durham in the north.
Gregersen and Karsholt, 2022 (page 240) advises the colour figure of this species in Emmet and Lanmaid, 2002 (MBGBI Vol 4 (2), plate 2, figure 5) depicts P. argentella.
Photographs of a set male and female can be seen on the Natural History Museum, Cockayne collection website:
Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs
Unknown. It has been suggested that the moth may lay its eggs on grass or Origanum vulgare (marjoram) and this suggested association with marjoram is also mentioned as possible, but unconfirmed, in Europe.
The feeding signs and larva are unknown.
Finding the Moth
Visiting historic sites for the species where marjoram occurs during sunny periods in June would seem to be the best chance of refinding the moth. It is unknown if it comes to light. Anyone locating a possible specimen should make notes of the habitat, weather, time of day and what the moth was doing when located. Photographs of the area and micro-habitat would be very valuable in attempting to track down this moth in other areas.
Similar in size, shape and markings to Psamathocrita argentella from which it is best separated by dissection. It may be possible to differentiate the two by examination of the underside of the abdomen which is reddish-buff in P. osseella and whitish in P. argentella but this has not been tested in the field. The species looks very Coleophora or Elachista-like in shape and size, the hindwing shape being the best way to identify it as a Gelechiid.
In sunshine from first week of June to mid July, the latest date on the database being the 21st July 1909 in VC32.