Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Very rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 4   See here for explanation

Flight time: May-Jun.

Forewing: 5-6mm.

Foodplant: Hart's-tongue Fern.

Regional breakdown:

Year first recorded20092010
Year last recorded20142014
Number of records76
Number of individuals778
Unique positions55
Unique locations55
Adult records14
Immature records62

For the county, we have a total of 13 records from 10 sites. First recorded in 2009.


12.048 Psychoides filicivora 07 ex mine on Hart's-tongue fern
© Andy Nunn
12.048 Psychoides filicivora 05 larva
© Andy Nunn
12.048 Psychoides filicivora 06 larval feeding signs
© Andy Nunn
12.048 Psychoides filicivora 04
© Tony Moverley, 8 Aug 2014
12.048 Psychoides filicivora 03 larval cases
© Dave Shenton
12.048 Psychoides filicivora 02 mine
© Charlie Streets, 26 Feb 2009
12.048 Psychoides filicivora 01
© Charlie Streets, 28 Mar 2009

Species Account

Argus 58, 2009:
VC63. Skircoat Green, Halifax, larva on hart's tongue fern 26.2.2009 (CS). NEW COUNTY RECORD.

Current status (HEB, 2011): First noticed in Britain in 1909 although there was no published record until 1940, it had probably been introduced with ferns from Asia. By the 1980s it had a mainly maritime distribution in southern and western England and in Ireland. More recently there have been a number of inland and more easterly records resulting in the first Yorkshire occurrence of larvae on hart’s tongue fern at Skircoat Green, Halifax (VC63) in 2009. It is likely to be found more widely in the future.

2013 (CHF): There has been further spread throughout VC64 this year. Unlike the previous species, this moth is continuously brooded and larvae can be found in any month of the year. The mines can be found on various species of fern, often as a displaced sporangium, but most records are from hart's tongue fern. The pale brown head and prothoracic shield of the larva are quite different from the black head of Psychoides verhuella.

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