Seq # 130110030

Nematopogon pilella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) Species

Last modified: Feb. 20, 2024, 4:02 p.m.

A very rare and local species in Belgium that has not been seen for a very long time. Could have been overlooked due to the resemblance with other Nematopogon species.


Family: Adelidae > Subfamily: Nematopogoninae > Genus: Nematopogon > Species: Nematopogon pilella
Vernacular names
Bosbeslangsprietmot (NL), Pale Brown Long-horn (EN)
First mention in Belgium
Fologne E. 1863. Addenda au catalogue des Lépidoptères de Belgique. — Annales de la Société entomologique belge 7: 87–93. On page 90 (as Nemophora Pilella SV.). view page




A fairly small species with rounded wings. The only species which is sexually dimorphic. Wingspan of males 16–18 mm, of females 13–16 mm. Ground colour in males greyish brown, in females ochreous. Antennae white. The white facial hair of the moth is typical of the species but Nematopogon swammerdamella also has a white forehead but is a bigger moth.

Museum specimens

Specimens in nature

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Larva ochreous brown; head shining black; thoracic plates shining brown.

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8–11 mm, oval, constructed with 6 to 7 crescent-like dry leaf particles.

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Eggs are deposited on a variety of lower plants. Almost half of the caterpillars hibernate as young larva and keep on feeding in the next year. The other half pupates and hibernates as a pupa.
The adults are active during the day and later come to light.

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Flight periods

The adults fly in one generation a year from late April till June.

Observed on


Wittered leaves of lower plants and detritus.

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The species has been observed in a variety of habitats, like meadows, grassy places in forests, preferably in limestone areas.

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