Luffia ferchaultella

    Alternative names
    Virgin Smoke

    Only the self-fertile wingless female is known. Possibly a form of Luffia lapidella.

    Identification difficulty

    Dampish, shady places with lichen covered tree trunks, posts, branches, or rocks.

    When to see it

    May to July.

    Life History

    The cased larvae feed, often gregariously, on lichen on tree trunks and, sometimes, on posts, sloe branches, or rocks. After the moth has emerged, the empty cases, about 6mm long, remain fully exposed on the trunk into the following spring when they can alert attention to the presence of the smaller occupied cases, often concealed in crevices.

    UK Status

    Luffia ferchaultella is widespread and locally abundant in southern Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

    VC55 Status

    It appears to be uncommon, or under recorded, in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).

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    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

    Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
    Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

    UK Map