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Agonopterix, etc

Small moths of family Depressariidae. 7 Agonopterix species have been chosen because they are relatively common and because they are very similar to each other. Parsnip moth has also been included as it is related and common :
1.
A.heracliana, A.yeatiana, A.arenella - similar markings in centre of forewing
2.
A.ocellana, A.nervosa, A.alstromeriana - as the first 3 with red markings as well
3.
A.umbellana and Parsnip moth - have longitudinal stripes

A.heracliana, A.yeatiana, A.arenella have a black blotch and up to 4 spots in the central area of the forewing

Agonopterix heracliana

Two angled black dots above the blotch with white underneath each

Two white or off-white dots on inside edge of the blotch

Central blotch faint or not visible

Agonopterix yeatiana                                     

Only one white dot below the blotch

Two angled black dots above the blotch but no white underneath them

Agonopterix arenella


Usually one black dot below the blotch

A.yeatiana often has black spots along the veins - making it look striped

In A.arenella the central blotch is usually prominent

A.ocellana, A.nervosa, A.alstromeriana - are similar to the first 3 but each has a red mark in the central area of the forewing as well.
The red mark is different in each species.

Agonopterix ocellana

Two angled black dots above the blotch but no white underneath them

In A.arenella the forewing is often suffused with brown - which distinguishes it from other, less common species not shown here e.g. A.scopiarella, A. propinquella

In A.Ocellana the long red mark is in a hook shape around the inside of the central blotch, passing through the angled black dots above the blotch and the white spot below it.

White or off-white spot in the central area

If in doubt check A.ciliella (not shown - far less common)

Sometimes the forewing has a white background.

Agonopterix alstromeriana

Agonopterix nervosa

A. nervosa may have only a touch of red round the white dot or dots

A. nervosa is unique in having pink or purple coloration to the cilia near the apex of the forewing

A. alstromeriana has a large prominent central blotch

A bright red mark encloses a white dot

The forewing often has a white or off-white background.

Sometimes the forewing has a white background.


A.umbellana and Parsnip moth - related moths with longitudinal stripes
Several of this family may have longitudinal stripes along the veins of the forewings - see
A. Nervosa and A. yeatiana

Agonopterix umbellana

Parsnip moth - Depressaria radiella


The Agonopterix species described on this page are generally of wing length about 9 or 10mm. Parsnip moth is larger - over 12mm.

A.umbellana is often common in coastal counties.

Stripes are generally more pronounced than in other Agonopterix such as A. yeatiana and A. nervosa

Very few marks in the central area of the forewing - usually just one black dot

As well as the light stripes along the veins, Parsnip moth has thick black lines down the forewings

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