Pterophoridae : Pterophorinae
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Photo © Antony Wren,  Frostenden, Suffolk

Similar Suffolk Species
Oxyptilus parvidactyla
Small Plume
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Oxyptilus distans
Breckland Plume

(Zeller, 1847)1491 / 45.026
=Crombrugghia distans

Morley’s Final Catalogue: A local south-English species, confined to sandhills and nowhere so common as upon our Breck, where it was discovered on south side of the river at Thetford and Brandon by Lord Walsingham in July 1868 (Trans. Norf. Soc. i, Suppl. 77). " Almost confined to the Breck sand district and one or two localities in Kent. Tuddenham (Vivian); Elveden (Williams); Brandon (Barrett), &c."—Bloomfield 1890. More than forty examples were captured at Tuddenham in August 1884 (Meek, Ent. xvii, 278). I have taken a few larvas from a species of Crepis, and occasional imagines in widely separated localities in west Suffolk (Nurse, Ent. 1911, 221). Worlington and Freckenham in 1932 (Gilles). Many Aying just before dusk and by day at Icklingham, Worlington, &c., in August 1934 (Mly, D).

Recent Status: The species is frequent in both the Breckland and Sandlings areas of Suffolk.

Life Style: A double brooded species flying from May to September. The larvae feed on Crepis capillaris, Pilosella officinarum and Picris hieracioides. They pupate on the foodplant.

Identification: With the recording of O. laetus in Suffolk, the county possesses three Oxyptilus species. O. parvidactyla is the smallest at 12 to 15 mm wing-span and the scale tooth on the third hindwing lobe is large and long almost reaching the apex. O. distans is 14 to 21mm and O. laetus 14 to 23mm wing-span. Both have the scale tooth remote from the apex of the third hindwing lobe. In the text for Oxyptilus laetus in ‘British Plume Moths’ Colin Hart states ’Wing colour and markings are very similar to C. distans and it is not always possible to separate the two species on wing pattern alone.’. The characters given in his key have been used to separate these two species in Suffolk, unfortunately this has proved unreliable having carried out genitalia determination of two specimens that appeared identical. Determination by genitalia is therefore necessary for Oxyptilus laetus. More Info
The larvae of the spring brood feed on the leaves of the foodplant and rest on the upper side of the mid-vein. The larvae of the summer brood feed on the flowers. They usually pupate in their respective feeding locations.

Recorded in 28 (48%) of 58 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1868.
Last Recorded in 2021.
Additional Stats

Oxyptilus parvidactyla  |  Oxyptilus laetus >

List Species Records   [Show All Latest]
Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
25/08/2021126TL78 - Brandon/Lakenheath
24/08/2021125TG50 - Gorleston
14/08/2021125TM49 - Somerleyton/Beccles
15/09/2020326TL77 - Mildenhall
13/09/2020226TL77 - Mildenhall
Show Details | 1990 to 2020 | 2000 to 2020 | Graph Key
Express Record Oxyptilus distans
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Copyright © Jim Wheeler 2021

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Wingspan: 15-22mm.
Flight: Two Generations. May-Jun. Jul-Aug.
Foodplant:   hawk-beards, hawkweeds and sow-thistles.
Nat Status: Nationally Scarce B
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2
 Immature Adult
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Underlying maps using Digital Map Data © Norfolk Online Lepidoptera Archive - NOLA™ - Suffolk 2021. © James Wheeler - Norfolk Moths 2007 - 2021. Data © NOLA™ - Suffolk 2021
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