Seq # 130030060

Nemophora metallica (Poda, 1761) Species

Last modified: Feb. 23, 2022, 6:54 p.m.

Used to be a rather common species in Belgium, but nowadays rare and only in the southern part of the country.


Family: Adelidae > Subfamily: Adelinae > Genus: Nemophora > Species: Nemophora metallica
Vernacular names
Gouden langsprietmot (NL), l'Adèle de la scabieuse (FR), Witwenblumen-Langhornfalter (DE)
Nemophora scabiosella (Scopoli, 1763)
First mention in Belgium
De Sélys-Longchamps E. 1844. Énumération des insectes Lépidoptères de la Belgique. — Mémoires de la Société royale des Sciences de Liége 2: 1–35. On page 24 (as Adela scabiosella). view page




Wingspan 17–22 mm, forewings unicolourous bronze, sometimes with golden hue. A brownish-grey discal spot. Antennae in the male with some black scales at the base. Head of male ochreous yellow, eyes enlarged, in the female yellow head, eyes normal.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature


Whitish transparent skin. Head and all three thoracic plates shining black.

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The case of the young larva is made of a seed capsule of Knautia of which it eats the contents. Later on, plant particles are added till the case becomes up to 12 mm, it is more or less oval.

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The larva lives at first on the seeds of the food plant, then on the lower leaves and possibly on leaf litter, from a flat bivalved case on the ground. Pupation in the case. The moths are active during the day. They like to rest on the flowers of the larval foodplant.

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Flight periods

The adults fly from the end of June till early August, sometimes as late as mid September.

Observed on

Host plant (genera):
Knautia and Scabiosa

The larva lives at first on the seeds of Knautia or Scabiosa. Later instars continue to feed on the seeds and flowers of the foodplant but also on detritus on the ground.

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Meadows, roadsides, forest edges with a lot of flowers, as long as the larval foodplant grows there as well. The species has been observed in extensively used landscapes.

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