Martin Harvey's picture

Psychoides species - larva - Brandon Hill

Observed: 24th January 2011 By: Martin Harvey
Berkshire Moth GroupFSC - Field Studies CouncilSoldierflies and Allies Recording SchemeBuckinghamshire Invertebrate Group
Invertebrates expert
Psychoides filicivora - larva - Brandon Hill-1

A tiny larva (click through to full-size image to see it!) feeding on the spores of this fern (which I believe to be Hard Shield-fern). There was quite a lot of frass (caterpillar poo) and at least one other larvae under this leaf. The fern is on iSpot to check its identification:
The adult moth can be seen on UKmoths:

Species interactions

No interactions present.


RHoman's picture

Psychoides sp.

The head actually looks a bit dark and, more significantly given the slight obscuring of the head, the prothoracic plate looks to be very dark indeed (or is this a trick of the light?). I can't see the rear end so cannot comment on the anal plate. I think this could well be verhuella on the basis of the details shown, but wouldn't want to record it definitely as either species. It is probably realistic to suggest that both species are simply spore feeders: I don't think there is a good relationship between moth species and fern species.

Robert Homan

Martin Harvey's picture


Thanks for those comments Robert. The day was cloudy and the fern was shaded so I think that the head looks darker in the photo than it actually was, but on reflection I agree with you that it's not possible to be certain from this photo. I'll try again next time I'm in Bristol!

Entomologist and biological recorder