Mompha miscella
Mompha miscella
Adult • Old Castle Down, Glamorgan • © David Slade

40.012 BF884

Mompha miscella

([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)

Wingspan 7-9 mm.

The distribution of this moth follows that of its foodplants; rockroses (Helianthemum spp.), which are confined to limestone and chalk in southern Britain, but extend onto slightly acid soils in N.E. England and E. Scotland. It is usually a common moth, wherever its foodplants occur. Its absence from Ireland is accounted for by the extreme rarity there, of Helianthemum spp..

The adults fly in two generations, primarily May-mid June, and mid July-August, but specimens can be found any time from late April to early October. Adults can often be taken in a fine meshed net by day, if the foodplants or nearby low vegetation are disturbed.

The larva mines the leaves of Helianthemum. Initially a gallery is made and filled with frass. It is widened abruptly into a blotch, which absorbs the gallery and may occupy the whole leaf. The frass may then be dispersed or heaped in the blotch. A larva may mine more than one leaf before it vacates the mine to pupate in a silk cocoon among leaf litter. The larval stage occurs in October-April and in June-July.
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