Adaina microdactyla

Adaina microdactyla is the smallest Plume Moth we have in Britain. The wings may be lighter than in the one depicted here. The spots may also be larger or smaller, but they are more or less in the same place. There usually is a striking contrast between the colour of the wings and that of the body. Many similar species have a much darker body and together with the spots in the wing, it is a good characteristic of this species. The wingspan is just some 13 to 18mm.

The larvae appear almost all year round. They live in the stem of the foodplant, sometimes forming a gall. The caterpillars of Adaina microdactyla look like many others living in a plant's stem: yellowish white with an ochre head. The larvae probably overwinter within the stem. They'll reach a length of some 6mm. The only known foodplant is Hemp Agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum).

Adaina microdactyla is on the wing in two generations. The first flying about in May and June and the second on the wing in August. Seen flying by day, the adults are often found in rather thick vegetation, such as ivy. Is sometimes attracted to light and can be obtained this way easily. Rather difficult to photograph as it has a tendency of flying away. Relatively common in the South of England. Become scarcer northwards and is only found in the south of Scotland. Scarce in Ireland. Common on the continent, but very rare or missing in the northern parts of the continent.