Monday, 13 February 2017

Psychoides larvae

When we sat down for lunch during a family walk in Piercefield Woods I noticed some rather manky Hart's-tongue Ferns and decided to check them for Psychoides larvae.  Almost immediately I noticed a round cluster of sori (the round spore-bearing bits), which I prodded and out popped a brown-headed larva.  The brown head indicates the commoner P. filicivora rather than the uncommon P. verhuella.  This is quite an easy Micro to spot in midwinter!

This is what the adults look like - distinctive too in their own small way.

Thankyou to the good folk of the Carmarthenshire and Glamorgan Moth Blogs for the heads-up about Psychoides larvae being identifiable.

1 comment:

  1. That's interesting Sam.
    I have the adults in my garden. They tend to fly in close proximity to each other, like in a small group cluster of maybe up to 10 or more not unlike gnats. I often see them like this either side of dawn when it tends to be cooler.
    As for the type of fern I'm not sure but probably Harts tongue- I'll post a picture up.
    I've seen the feeding and the small brownish mounds -the spinning of the 'sporangia' (as my book puts it) on the underside of the fronds, but never thought of disturbing the larvae. I guess because I've seen the adults I already knew what was doing it.
    Still if one was out in the 'field' then this would be very handy.
    I'll have a look at the fern to see if I have any evidence/activity and post up.


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