Irelands smallest micro moth - Enteucha acetosae on Killalish transition mire, Co. Wicklow

During the Wicklow Wetland Survey 2012 a new inland site was found which contained the micro moth Enteucha acetosae. All previous sites were coastal in their distibution (see map from Moths Ireland below).

SAM 6746

Comments on species by Ken Bond: 

This species has an unmistakeable mine, spiral, turns the leaf reddish, and found on Sorrel (Rumex acetosa and Rumex acetosella).  

This is our smallest moth species, and I believe Europe's too.  I have seen nothing to contradict the assertion that it is in fact the world's smallest moth, with a wingspan of about 3mm (in "set" posture).

enteucha acetosae male

It also has an Irish connection; the original "type locality" of the species is Howth Head (sea cliffs), where it was bred from Sorrel by Shields in 1853, and sent to Stainton who gave it its name the next year.  The mines of the species were still to be found on Howth Head when I last looked there.



© Peter Foss 2012