Acrolepia autumnitella

Alternative names
Bittersweet Smudge

Wingspan 11-13 mm. A small inconspicuous species with bright golden-brown wings that have a white patterning.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine


Various habitats especially those supporting the larval foodplant Bittersweet.

When to see it

The adults generally emerge in two generations, firstly in July and then in October - the second brood overwintering in this stage which probably accounts for any early sightings.

Life History

The larvae mine the leaves of Bittersweet or occasionally Deadly Nightshade forming large whitish or translucent blotches. The pupa is formed in a cocoon fashioned from a network of silk.

UK Status

Distributed mainly in the southern half of England with a few scattered records further north, although it is probably overlooked. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Uncommon with few previous records from the Leicestershire and Rutland area. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


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

UK Map