Early Long-horn - Adela cuprella


Wingspan about 15 mm. The male has very white, long antennae, hairy black head and gold forewings with a purple edge. The females have much shorter, black antennae and are orange or yellowish on the head.

Identification difficulty
Recording advice

This is a rarely recorded species in Leicestershire and Rutland so good quality photographs are required to support your record.  If possible, please retain the specimen until identification is confirmed.


Around willow. Adults tend to spend a lot of their time around the tops of Willow trees on sunny days.

When to see it

March to May 

Life History

The eggs are laid in the catkins of Willow (Salix), but on hatching the larvae drop to the ground and feed amongst the leaf litter in a portable case constructed from fragments of vegetation.

UK Status

This species has a wide distribution across much of mainland Britain, but is rather local. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland. The record from Rutland Water on 24 March 2022 is the first for VC55.

7.007 BF149

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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