843 Aproaerema anthyllidella
(Hübner, 1813)Wingspan c. 11mm.
A reasonably common species throughout most of the British Isles, though more local in Scotland, this species mainly inhabits dunes, dry grassland and rough pasture where kidney vetch occurs.
The intensity and extent of the creamy markings on the forewing can be variable, and they are sometimes absent altogether.
There are two generations, flying in May and June and again in August and September.
Larvae are usually stated to occur in April-May and July-August, but it is uncertain how the species overwinters. Early instar larvae can be found on A. vulneraria in September (1.25 mm- 2.3mm, pers. obs. I.F. Smith) and in January (MBGBI 4-2), and A. vulneraria plants covered with netting in November with undetected early larvae or ova had 2.5mm larvae the following March (pers. obs. I.F. Smith).
The main foodplant is kidney vetch (Anthyllis vulneraria), although other herbaceous plants growing in the same area may also be used, such as restharrow (Ononis spp. ) sanfoin (Onobrychis viciifolia), lucerne (Medicago sativa) and clover (Trifolium spp.).
The first generation initially forms an unmistakable leaf mine on Anthyllis vulneraria, but the second generation feeds on the flowers. Feeding signs on other plants vary in appearance. Larvae can move between sewn leaves, and more than one larva may be found together.
Similar species (adults): 779 Bryotropha affinis has a bristle (pecten hair) at base of antenna which is absent in A. anthyllidella . Also consider 731a Eulamprotes immaculatella and 848 Syncopacma albipapella if specimens are not reared from larvae on an appropriate foodplant.