35.136 Caryocolum blandulella (Tutt, 1887)

Status and Distribution

Rare and very restricted in its distribution having been found at single sites in four widely scattered regions; in Hampshire (last in 1891), Kent (last in 1983), Carmarthenshire (last in 2006) and Suffolk (a single very worn specimen was new to the county in 2019). Reports in 1979 and 1980 from Glamorganshire (very adjacent to the Carmarthenshire site and in the same 10km square) are unconfirmed, with searches for information and specimens failing to produce any positive evidence, although the habitat is believed to be similar at both sites.

National Status: 

pRDB 1

Bradley & Fletcher no: 

Photographer: ©R Watson
Location: Suffolk

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by January 2020.


    Caryocolum blandulella Suffolk (Photo: R Watson)

    Dissection Group

    Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

    Cerastium semidecandrum (little mouse-ear), see plant distribution map. In Europe has also been recorded on Cerastium pumilum (dwarf mouse-ear).

    Spins the seed-capsules together.

    Foodplant Map



    Finding the Moth

    Larva: feeds within seed-capsules which are spun together.

    Adult: flies at dusk and during the night; is attracted to light.

    Similar Species

    One of our smaller Caryocolum species (wingspan 8.5-11mm).

    C. blandella is usually larger (wingspan 9.5-14.5mm) and has a distinct row of black terminal dots on the forewing, absent in C. blandulella.

    C. blandelloides, which is a northern Scottish sand-dune species, is slightly larger and has a less distinct black costal block.

    C. proxima, which has a generally darker forewing (although paler or worn specimens can be problematic). Differences in the male genitalia are obvious but female genitalia differences are fairly minimal and require careful examination and comparrison.

    A darker form occurs in Europe which could be confused with C. alsinella, but this has not been reported in Britain.

    Larval Occurrence

    Larval Occurrence

    Flight Period

    Flight Period

    Single brooded, with very few dates available to assess full flight period which appears to be from mid-July to mid/late August.