Recent Status: This species is restricted to breeding in Breckland in Great Britain.
Life Style: A single brooded species that flies during June, July and August. It flies by day and night and comes to light. The larvae feed on the unripe seeds of Acinos arvensis. They move to a grass species before hibernating. They continue mining grass species in spring before pupating.
Identification: This species and C. lixella are very similar in the adult moths and larvae. C. lixella is widely distributed in Great Britain and well recorded in Norfolk but is not on the Suffolk list. The moths are distinctive. They are yellowish ochre with silver white stripes edged in black. The apex is curved and pointed projecting upwards when at rest. The genitalia structure is shown in the Moths and Butterflies of Great Britain and Ireland and can be used to separate the males but is unsatisfactory for the females. The only clear difference between the live moths is that the antennae of C. tricolor are ringed for the entire length. In C. lixella there is no complete ringing and none in the terminal quarter. More Info
The larvae of both species feed on the seeds of a Labiatae species. For C. tricolor this is Acinos arvensis, for C. lixella this is Thymus species. Both construct a silken case through a floret to move between flowers. They then leave these to mine grass species. C. tricolor creates a case from the mined grass before hibernation. C. lixella hibernates in the first case and constructs a case from mined grass in the spring. The cases of these species are similar with a bivalve anal end and an oral opening set at 25 degrees to the long axis. More Info
Verification Grade Comment: Adult: If photos, all complex antennal differences to exclude C. lixella must be visible
Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.
Case: A good quality photo or specimen of the case and plant/pabulum and the bred moth is
Recorded in 3 (5%) of 58 10k Squares. First Recorded in 1983. Last Recorded in 2017. Additional Stats