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 a few scattered sites 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 two Scottish records (in VC83, from a Scottish Natural Heritage list, and VC101, by an experienced recorder) shown on the national VC maps are unknown to this Scheme, the only location with details being the Outer Hebrides. Additionally the national Vice County map has a dot for VC113 (the Channel Islands) but the details are unknown.
Bradley & Fletcher no:
Maps updated with all data received by January 2020.
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).
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.
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).
Single brooded from mid-June to August.