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Wednesday, 4 January 2017

More P. filicivora

Inspired by Chris Manley's post (below), I had a brief look today at some Hart's Tongue Ferns which are abundant at Cwmllwyd. It took only seconds to find this larva on a very worn fern leaf:

I suspect that this is Psychoides filicivora. I netted one adult in September 2016 (a first sighting for me) and once again, here's my very poor photo of it.

It seems to me that there could be hundreds, maybe thousands of these on the site. Many thanks to CM for drawing attention to the species.

Edit: see comments below.


  1. Well done Steve. I have a potted soft shield fern by my front door and a male fern has also `spored` itself into the same pot, both are now mature plants. Every late March/April, I get P. ficivora congregating on these ferns and the surrounds to my door, so it uses other ferns as well as hart`s-tongue fern.

  2. They can be separated as larvae - filicivora has a brown head and verhuella a black head. I think your larva is filicivora but it's hard to be sure of the head colour in the photo.

  3. I have another dodgy photo of the larva which I will append to the post. I'm sure that the head colour was brown. Thanks to both of you for your comments.

  4. Thanks Steve, filicivora it is. There are photos of larvae of both species on the ukmoths website.

    P verhuella certainly seems to be the scarcer of the two, and uses a smaller range of ferns. I've only found them on Hart's-tongue and Wall-rue.

  5. Thanks George - I did n`t realise (or forgot) that you could i/d the larvae...a really very useful i/d tip indeed. As I often see hart`s-tongue fern with larval damage, I can now have a go to i/d them, rather than assuming `non-records`.