Psychoides verhuella

    Alt Name
    Hart's-tongue Smut

    Wingspan 9 to 12 mm. The adult moth is dark blackish in colour and often has a violet reflection. It lacks the white tornal spot of P. filicivora.

    Similar Species

    An image showing both larval species for comparison is available here.

    Identification difficulty

    In areas with suitable amounts of the larval foodplants.

    When to see it

    Adult: May to July.

    Life History

    Larva (early and late instars) has black head, prothoracic shield and anal plate, which distinguish it from the other fern frond species, P. filicivora. It mines mature fern frond with well developed sporangia, usually Hart's-tongue, and makes case (vacant when larva in frond) resembling displaced sorus (spore body). Aug.-June, most prominent April-May. Pupal case has sharp crest when unworn.

    UK Status

    Local in distribution and mainly found in the southern half of Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

    VC55 Status

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

    12.047 BF199

    Leicestershire & Rutland Map

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map