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Nettle-tap moth - Anthophila fabriciana
Nettle-tap moth - Anthophila fabriciana

Nettle-tap moth
The nettle-tap moth (Anthophila fabriciana) belongs to the genus Anthophila, in the order Lepidoptera, the suborder Glossata, the infraorder Heteroneura ( unranked: Ditrysia), the superfamily Choreutoidea, the family metalmark moths (Choreutidae), and the subfamily Choreutinae. The nettle-tap moth is encountered almost throughout the world from the Arctic Circle to the subtropical zone (Palearctic). In Europe, this species is found almost everywhere.
Anthophila fabriciana - Metal mark moth
Anthophila fabriciana - Metal mark moth
These are relatively small moths with slender, elongated bodies. They can reach body lengths of 10 mm and wingspans of 10-15 mm. Their wings have a metallic sheen and are various shades of brown in colour with slightly raised, white stripes. The front wings have 12 veins, the hind wings 10. The hind wings are rounded, similar in width to the front wings, and have a short fringe at the edge. The head has medium-length filamentous antennae. The proboscis is pronounced and has scales at its base.
Anthophila fabriciana - Butterfly
Anthophila fabriciana - Butterfly
The nettle-tap moth is diurnal. The first generation are active from early May to early July and the second from late July to early October. These moths are found in all habitats where nettles (Urtica) especially Urtica dioica, grow. The caterpillars of the nettle-tap moth reach body lengths of about 10 mm. The body surface is finely ridged, pale yellowish-green to whitish-green, sometimes translucent, and therefore darker in the front half because here the internal organs show through the skin. Their breathing holes are very small and have a brownish periphery. The head is light brown. The headís capsule has brown and black spots.
Anthophila fabriciana - Side view
Anthophila fabriciana - Side view
The caterpillars appear from June to July and from August to May in the following year. They live (two generations at once) in a web on the upper side of the leaves of their food plants (including lichwort, comfrey and stinging nettle), and eat the leaves down to the skeleton. At the end of their development, the larvae pupate in a thick, white cocoon inside a leaf or near the veins on the leaf surface, causing the leaf to roll up. The pupae are yellowish-brown and overwinter.
Anthophila fabriciana - Front view
Anthophila fabriciana - Front view

Anthophila fabriciana
Common namesCommon nettle-tap, Nettle-tap moth, Nettle-tap, Nettle Tap
German namesNesselmotte, Rundstirnmotte, Brauner Spreizflügelfalter
Dutch namesBrandnetelmot, Kleine brandnetelmot
Danish namesBredvinget nældevikler
Finnish namesNokkostuikekoi
Norwegian namesNeslebreimøll, Neslebredmøll
Swedish namesBredvingad nässelmal
AuthorCarl von Linné (Carl Nilsson Linnæus), 1767

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (South England (Southwest England (Cornwall)), East England (Suffolk, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire (Huntingdonshire), Bedfordshire), English Midlands (East Midlands (Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire), West Midlands (Staffordshire)), North England (Northeast England (Northumberland), Yorkshire)), Wales (Mid Wales (Montgomeryshire)))), Ireland), Germany, Scandinavia (Norway (Finnmark, Vestfold, Aust-Agder, Vest-Agder, Akershus, Rogaland, Telemark, Hedmark, Hordaland, Oppland, Sogn and Fjordane, Sør-Trøndelag, Østfold), Sweden, Denmark), Fennoscandia (Finland), Baltic region (Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania))), West Europe (Austria, France (South France (Occitania (Midi-Pyrenees))), Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)), South Europe (Italy (Italy Islands (Sicily, Sardinia), North Italy, South Italy), Iberian Peninsula (Portugal)), Central Europe (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic (Moravia, Bohemia), Slovakia), Southeast Europe (Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, Yugoslavia (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina), Albania), East Europe (Ukraine, Belarus)
South Asia (India), West Asia (Near East (Turkey, Cyprus)), Far East (East Asia (Japan))
North America
North Africa
Macaronesia (Madeira)

Ecozones: Palaearctic

CountriesAlbania, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesAnthophila fabriciana in
Anthophila fabriciana in
Anthophila fabriciana in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Nettle-tap moth - Anthophila fabriciana
2. Anthophila fabriciana - Metal mark moth
3. Anthophila fabriciana - Butterfly
4. Anthophila fabriciana - Side view
5. Anthophila fabriciana - Front view
Quick search: Brown - Moth - Nettles - Anthophila - Nettle - Fabriciana
Wings - Front - Leaf - Head - Body - Moths - July - Hind
Sources, links and more informations
Nettle-tap moth in Wikipedia
Nettle-tap moth - Anthophila fabriciana
Insects, True insects
Winged insects
Wing-folding insects
Holometabolous Insects
Lepidopterans, Butterflies and Moths
Metalmark Moths, Metal mark moths, Choreutid moths, Choreuitid Moths
Bees, Common Nettle-tap
Anthophila fabriciana
Common nettle-tap, Nettle-tap moth, Nettle-tap, Nettle Tap
AuthorLinnaeus, 1767
Anthophila alternalis
Anthophila dentana
Anthophila fabriciana
Anthophila fabricii
Anthophila oxyacanthella
Asopia alternalis
Choreutes alternalis
Choreutes fabriciana
Crambus oxyacanthae
Phalaena Pallium excisum
Phalaena Tinea oxyacanthella
Phalaena Tortrix fabriciana
Phalaena Tortrix gilibertiana
Pyralis fabriciana
Simaethis fabriciana
Simaethis parietariae
Tortrix dentana
Tortrix oxyacanthella
Tortrix urticana
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