Last modified: Feb. 7, 2024, 11:37 a.m.
A rather rare species in Belgium but probably overlooked.
Wingspan 14–20 mm. Head and thorax brown to dark brown, cream to pale ochreous tinged; palp as head, slightly mottled. Forewing brown, more or less mottled blackish, red-brown or whitish; stigmata blackish, tiny with erect scales, the distal 2 and plical stigmata merging; an angulated whitish post-median fascia sometimes present.
Male genitalia: the uncus varies, but the incisions of the distal margin are normally not very pronounced and the medial incision is usually deeper and well below the two lateral incisions (the incisions between the prongs in Psoricoptera speciosella) and (2) the phallic spinules on the ventral surface beyond two-thirds are more than 20 in numbers (21–43) in Psoricoptera gibbosella (less than 15 in numbers (7–13) in Psoricoptera speciosella.
Female genitalia: (1) the distal appendices of the genital plate are moderately rounded in Psoricoptera gibbosella (more tapering in Psoricoptera speciosella, (2) the signum is mostly rhomboidal in Psoricoptera gibbosella (almost circular in Psoricoptera speciosella and slightly larger in Psoricoptera gibbosella). This difference is remarkable as Psoricoptera gibbosella is usually a smaller moth with generally smaller genitalia.
The larva of both species Psoricoptera gibbosella and Psoricoptera speciosella cannot be safely separated, but they seem to prefer different host plants.
Grey, with darker sub-dorsal line and slender, slightly darker dorsal line; head black; the second segment black, with the anterior edge whitish; anal segment with a small black plate; ordinary spots small and black.
The larva lives inside a twisted edge of the leaf, also reported to feed inside the buds of Quercus ilex. The adults use to rest on trunks during the day and later come to light.
The adults usuall fly from late June towards mid-September, often till mid-October. Most observations during August.
It inhabits gardens, parks and deciduous forests, especially old oak forests.