N A T U R K U N D L I C H E S   I N F O R M A T I O N S S Y S T E M

Psychoides verhuella Bruand, 1850

(zoological nomenclature: valid name, available)

General information:

Psychoides verhuella Bruand, 1850: 30.
Type locality: France, Département Doubs
Type: none designated

Synonyms, misspellings, wrong determinations, etc.:
Lamprosetia verhuellella Stainton, 1854: 39. Type locality: Great Britain, London. Junior subjective synonym.


: Salzburg, Osterhorn group, Fuschl am See, Schober, 25.2.1990 e.l. 1.5.1990 : Northern Tyrol, Ötztal, Sautens, rockslide wood, 2007.06.09, leg. Puchmayr & Kurz, coll. Michael Kurz    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Description of adults: Examined: 1 , 3 . Forewing length: 4.0 mm, 4.3-4.7 mm. Head smoothly scaled, dark brown, coppery shining; labial palpi short, downwardly directed, smoothly scaled, 2nd segment distally with some bristles; palpi silvery-white in basal half, distally dark brown, coppery shining; antennae filiform, serrate, delicately ciliated in , about 2/3, respectively, about 1/2 () of forewing length; thorax and tegulae dark brown, coppery shining; forewings dark brown, without markings, coppery shining, partly with violet shimmer; fringe likewise; hindwings grey-brown, coppery shining, fringe likewise; underside like upperside, but with more intensive glance; legs dark brown, coppery shining; foretibia with epiphysis; midtibia with a pair of spurs of unequal length at distal end; hindtibia with a pair of spurs each at about 1/3 of tibial length and at distal end; abdomen dark brown, coppery shining.


Following Karsholt & Nieukerken (2011), the species is distributed from the British Isles through central Europe to Romania. Records have also been given for Slovenia and northern Croatia (Kurz & Kurz 2014). The vertical distribution is documented so far from about 100 - 1700 m a.s.l. (Kurz & Kurz 2014).


The species inhabits rocky, open woods, pine-woods with Erica carnea, dwarf scrub, beech-spruce-fir-mixed woods and clear-cuts rich in tall herb vegetation and bushes. Here, imagines have been found on the wing in the morning. Larvae mostly prefer shady rocks and rock falls with stands of Asplenium-species. P. verhuella occurs in only one generation per year with imagines flying from May to July. Larvae have been found feeding in September and October, hibernate and feed again till April. The pupal stage lasts a few weeks only (Kurz & Kurz 2014).

Parasitoids: Larvae were parasitized by wasps of the families Braconidae and Ichneumonidae, among them a Diadegma sp. (Kurz & Kurz 2014).

Stages in development:

Mines of the larva on Asplenium ruta-muraria: Bavaria, Berchtesgaden, Grünstein, 2005.10.10 Cover of fern spores: Bavaria, Berchtesgaden, Grünstein, 2005.10.10    
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view
Picture from: Kurz Michael
Detailed view

Larva. The larva is somewhat stout, yellow and has a black-brown head, as well as thoracal and anal plates. It lives on the underside of fern leaves. From fern spores, it spinns a kind of blanket, which is transportable. During feeding however, it is spun tight to the surface. This blanket somewhat resembles the sori of the fern, but is normally larger and is therefore easily recognizeable. Beneath this blanket, the larva mines the fern leaf or eats the parenchyma from the surface. Feeding plants of the larvae are predominantly Asplenium-species like Asplenium trichomanes, Asplenium viride or Asplenium ruta-muraria (Kurz & Kurz 2014). Pupation also takes place beneath the spore-blanket.

Pupa. The pupa is light brown and pushs itself out of the blanket prior to hatching for about half of its length.


The smoothly scaled head is untypically for Tineidae. From other uniformely dark brown coloured species like some Gelechioidea, the species can be separated by the downwardly directed palpi.

Worth knowing:


Bruand, T. 1850. Catalogue du Doubs (suite). Tinéides. — Mémoires de la Société libre d´émulation du Doubs 3 (3), livraisons 5-6: 23-69. Besançon (Outhenin-Chalandre fils).
Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken 2011. Tineidae. In - Karsholt, O. & E. J. van Nieukerken (eds.). Lepidoptera, Moths. – Fauna Europaea version 2.4., http://www.faunaeur.org [online 29 May 2014].
Kurz, M. A. & M. E. Kurz 2000–2011. Naturkundliches Informationssystem. – URL: http://www.nkis.info [online 29 May 2014].

Publication data:

Kurz Michael: 2014.05.29
Kurz Michael: 2014.06.13
Kurz Michael: 2016.08.18
Kurz Michael: 2020.07.20
not reviewed