Apodia bifractella

Alternative names
Dark Fleabane Neb

Wingspan 9-12 mm. Mainly brown with a broad orange stripe across the rear of its wings and an orange head. As is typical of the Gelechiidae, it rests with its palps turned back over its head.

Identification difficulty

Secretive but is sometimes found in late afternoon on flowers of its food plants such as Common Fleabane.

When to see it


Life History

Larva, October to April, and pupa, May to June, in seed heads of Common Fleabane, Ploughman's Spikenard or Sea Aster. There are no external feeding signs. The easiest way to find Apodia bifractella is to note locations in summer where the food plants grow and to return in December to April to collect a carrier bag of the dead plant remains. Keep outdoors until March/April and then bring inside. Remove seed heads and place them in a large sweet jar, or similar, with the lid on. Adults may emerge in July-August.

UK Status

Widespread in southern England and also in north-west England and north Wales but not particularly common even here. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Uncommon in our area, thie Ratby record of July 2010 wass only the second record for Leicestershire and Rutland. 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