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Psychoides verhuella
Hart's-tongue Smut Bruand, 1853
Tineidae: Teichobiinae
199 / 12.047

Similar Suffolk Species
Fern Smut
Psychoides filicivora
Wingspan: 9-12mm
Flight: June
Foodplant:   Fern - Hart's-tongue, Spleenwort, Rustyback
Nat Status: Local
Verification Grade:  Adult: 2

Morley’s Final Catalogue: Ubiquitous. Numerous larval-cases on Higham churchyard wall in 1934 (R. Burn, sec. Mus. Brit.); Mutford Hall on a lichened gate, and Monks Soham garden in 1935 (Mly).

Recent Status: After many years with no records, the distinctive dark-headed larvae were located on Hart's-tongue fern at Purdis Farm, Ipswich in May 2021 with a single moth bred out to confirm the identification.

Life Style: A single brooded species flying from May to July. The larvae feed on Asplenium scolopendrium and also other Asplenium species and Polystichum setiferum. They pupate in the larval case at the base of the foodplant.

Identification: The moth is a broad winged Tineid that is unicolorous dark fuscous to black with a violet or purple sheen. The larvae initially create a blotch mine before leaving the blotch and constructing a portable case covered with sporangia. They continue to mine blotches from this. As they mature the case is constructed from silk and includes the walls of a sorus that they cut off. This is covered with sporangia. They pupate in a cocoon inside this later case at the base of the foodplant. More Info

Recorded in 1 (2%) of 58 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1935.
Last Recorded in 1935.

Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
1935+25TM26 - Framlingham/Dennington
Further info: Psychoides verhuella
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