Paracrania chrysolepidella

Alternative names
Small Hazel Purple
Eriocrania chrysolepidella
Description

Wingspan about 11 mm. A small moth with a mottled purple wing pattern.  The larvae feed on Hazel creating fairly large blotch mines.  See link below under 'Further Information'

Similar Species

Adult very similar to E. cicatricella - they can only be separated by dissection of the genitalia.

Identification difficulty

Adult  Leafmine but see recording advice.

Recording advice

Adult:  specimens must be confirmed by gen det.

Leafmine: because of the rarity of this species in our area photographs of the leaf and leafmine are required and if possible, images of the larva.  Please state the host plant when submitting your record.

Habitat

Wooded areas where the larval host plants, Hazel or Hornbeam are present.

When to see it

Like most of its close relatives, it is a spring-flying species, being at large during April in its adult form.

Life History

The larva feeds in April and May on Hazel or Hornbeam creating blotches with intertwining threads of frass, typical of the genus. As no other British Eriocraniidae species feeds on the same foodplants, identification of mines is straightforward.

UK Status

The scarcest and most local of the Eriocrania species in the British Isles, occurring sparingly in parts of England and Ireland. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Rare in Leicestershire and Rutland.  The leafmine record from Burbage Wood dated 25.5.2021 is the first record of this species in VC55.

Reference
2.002 BF7

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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