Diurnea fagella

Diurnea fagella


Description and Identification

Diurnea fagella, sometimes called the March Tubic to use an unconventional English name for a micro-moth species, is a small moth of the Lypusidaeae family.

Males are 13-14 mm in length whereas females are 8-11 mm in length (Sterling & Parsons, 2012). Males have an average wingspan of 2.5 cm, being fully capable of flying well, however females are flightless, having have much shorter and stunted wings. Forewing colour is variable, being pale grey with darker speckling, varying to darker grey and brownish-black (Sterling & Parsons, 2012).

Diurnea fagella, UEA, 28 March 2019 (Max Hellicar)

It is a spring species with a single generation, occurring from March to May. Caterpillars feed on a range of deciduous tree species including oaks Quercus spp., Beech Fagus sylvatica, Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa, Hornbeam Carpinus betulus, Aspen Populus tremula, Hazel Corylus avellana, Blackthorn Prunus spinosa, willows Salix spp. and birches Betula spp.. Adults occur in deciduous woodland with a preference for oak woodland.


Taxonomy

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Lypusidaeae
Genus: Diurnea
Species: D. fagella



Distribution and Status

Diurnea fagella is a common species through almost the entirety of England, Wales and Scotland, and also occupying a fair portion of Ireland. It is a widespread species in Norfolk, having been recorded in 86% of 10 km squares across the country, having first been recorded in 1874 (Wheeler, 2019).

At UEA I have recorded 38 individuals (all males) over five trapping sessions between 20th and 31st March 2019, with a peak of nineteen individuals on the night of 21st-22nd March using two Robinson moth traps equipped with mercury vapour bulbs. The individual pictured in this blog post was one of ten caught overnight on 27th-28th March. There seems to be no shortage of them on campus!



References and Sources of Information

Kimber, I. (2019). Diurnea fagella. Retrieved April 03, 2019, from UK Moths: www.ukmoths.org.uk/species/diurnea-fagella

Sterling, P., & Parsons, M. (2012). Field Guide to the Micro Moths of Great Britain and Ireland. Dorset: British Wildlife Publishing Ltd.

Wheeler, J. (2019). Diurnea fagella. Retrieved April 03, 2019, from Norfolk Moths: www.norfolkmoths.co.uk/micros.php?bf=6630

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