35.004 Aproaerema taeniolella (Zeller, 1839)

Status and Distribution

Formerly Syncopacma taeniolella.

Widespread but rather local, occasionally locally common, across much of England, lowland Wales and Eire. Very local in Northern England, only recorded on Barra in Scotland*, and unrecorded from Northern Ireland and Isle of Man. It appears to be restricted to coastal localities in the more northerly parts of Britain.

* Details of a Scottish record from VC83, shown as a dot on the national VC maps, is unknown to this Scheme. Another dot on the national maps relating to VC101 came about as the result a transcition error and related to VC110 (R. Heckford pers. comm., 2020). Additionally the national Vice County map has a dot for VC113 (the Channel Islands) but the details relating to this are also unknown.

National Status: 


Bradley & Fletcher no: 

Photographer: © P Clement

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by January 2020.


    Aproaerema taeniolella (Photo: P Clement) Aproaerema taeniolella (Photo: T & D Pendleton)


    Aproaerema taeniolella larva (Photo: R J Heckford)

    Set Specimens

    Aproaerema taeniolella (upperside), bred Lotus corniculatus, Co. Clare (Photo: R J Heckford)  Aproaerema taeniolella (underside) bred Lotus corniculatus, Co. Clare (Photo: R J Heckford)

    The diagnostic white marks on the underside of the forewing and hindwing can be a little variable in extent but are clearly visible in the photograph above. A form is known that lacks the forewing upperside white fascia but the underside whitish mark is still present.

    Dissection Group

    Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

    Lotus corniculatus (common bird's-foot-trefoil), see plant distribution map. Very occasionally on Lotus pedunculatus (greater bird's-foot-trefoil), Trifolium spp. (clover) or Medicago spp. (medick). It was once reported from Helianthemum nummularium (common rock-rose) by P. Sokoloff in the BENHS Journal of 1980: 8, an extremely unusual choice of foodplant.

    In Europe also found on Chrysapsis micrantha, Dorycnium, Medicago minima (bur medick), Tetragonolobus maritimus, Trifolium medium (zigzag clover) and Trifolium pratense (red clover).

    Foodplant Map


    Aproaerema taeniolella habitat Newborough Warren, Anglesey 2013 (Photo: S M Palmer)

    Rough ground, quarries, vegetated coastal dunes, chalk grassland and limestone pavement.

    Finding the Moth

    Larva: spins leaves together and feeds within the spinning. Syncopacma cinctella also utilises common bird's-foot-trefoil and S. larseniella has been known to use it on rare occasions.

    Adult: easily disturbed on warm days and swept from amongst the larval foodplant. Comes to light.

    Similar Species

    Readily separated from other Aproaerema species with a white fascia by the presence of a similar, usually slightly thinner fascia on the underside of the forewing and a white spot or a broken line on the underside of the hindwing. See photograph of upperside and underside of the forewings in the 'Images' section and the comparable markings of A. larseniella under that species.

    Rarely the white fascia on the upperside of the forewing can be broken, reduced to a few dots or even absent. It should be noted that A. cinctella and rarely A. larseniella, can lack the white fascia on the upperside of the forewing. If checking of the underside of the forewing fails to show any obvious white fascia then dissection is recommended.

    The pale fascia on A. taeniolella can be straight or, more often, slightly inwardly curved.

    For more detailed discussion covering the Aproaerema species and their separation see under A. cinctella (Finding the Moth / Similar Species).


    Larval Occurrence

    Larval Occurrence

    Flight Period

    Flight Period

    Single brooded from mid-June to August.