Small Angle Shades (Euplexia lucipara)

Status: Common throughout the UK.

'Well-folded, Light-bearer'
(Eu = good/well + plexia = from plexus, folded or interwoven: Latin, lucipara = from luciparens, light-bearing: Latin)

Like its larger relative (the Angle Shades), this species has creased forewings and hair-tufts which add to its dead leaf disguise.

Up close, this is a very attractive moth: the forewings are striated with shades of gold and toffee-brown, flushed with salmon-pink on the trailing edges and they have a prominent 'angled' central bar of rich mahoganey brown. There is an oily violaceous sheen on the orbicular stigmata and the tufts of hair on thorax and abdomen.

The bright gold reniform stigmata inspired the species name 'lucipara' (light-bearing) and this moth is known in France as 'la luisante' - 'the shining'.

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia lucipara

Small Angle Shades Euplexia luciparaFlight Period: One generation: June to July.

Foodplants: A wide range of herbaceous & woody plants (especially Bracken and other ferns).

Ochsenheimeria urella

Status: Fairly widespread throughout the UK.

'Ochsenheimer, Little-burner (?)'

(Ochsenheimeria = Ochsenheimer, urella = from uro, to burn or dry up: Latin, possibly from the damage the larvae do to grasses?).

This tiny micro moth is a day-flier and active mostly in the morning.

The antennae have a rough, shaggy appearance due to the presence of elongated scales. Profuse tufts of bristles cover the head and there are a few raised scales on the forewings.

The genus Ochsenheimeria is named in honour of the german lepidopterist Ferdinand Ochsenheimer (1767–1822) who wrote Die Schmetterlinge von Europa (The Lepidoptera of Europe) and was an actor by profession.

Detailed information about the morphology & life cycle of Ochsenheimeria can be found here (PDF file):

Review of Ochsenheimeriidae and the Introduction of the Cereal Stem Moth Ochsenheimeria vacculella into the United States (Lepidoptera: Tineoidea). Donald R. Davis (1975), Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology: Number 192.

Ochsenheimeria urella Specimen collected from the Test marsh (NS480747)

Flight Period: One generation: July to August.

Foodplants: Larvae mine the leaves and stems of grasses, including couch grass (Agropyron) and brome (Bromus).