Seq # 250110240

Agonopterix subpropinquella (Stainton, 1849) Species

Last modified: March 25, 2024, 9:07 a.m.

A very rare and declining species in Belgium. It used to be common in the 19th century. The reason of the decline might be the rarity of thistles. Easily confused with some other members of the genus.


Family: Depressariidae > Subfamily: Depressariinae > Genus: Agonopterix > Species: Agonopterix subpropinquella
Vernacular names
Distelkaartmot (NL)
First mention in Belgium
De Fré Ch. 1858. Catalogue des Microlépidoptères de la Belgique. — Annales de la Société entomologique belge 2: 45–162. On page 128 (as D.[epressaria] Subpropinquella. Staint.). view page




Wingspan: 16–22 mm.
Most observations are misidentifications of Agonopterix propinquella which, has the forewing more arched.

Museum specimens

Specimens in nature

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The species starts its life as a leafminer, but the caterpillars soon eat externally on the leaves of the foodplant. After a while they spin the leaflets together to form a tube in which they hide.
Pupation among detritus or in the earth at the base of the foodplant.
This species hibernates as an adults. These adults are rarely seen during the day but they sometimes come to light or can be beaten from the foliage.

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Flight periods

One generation a year: from August, hibernating, till May of the next year.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Arctium lappa
Host plant (genera):
Centaurea and Cirsium

The species lives on a variety of thistles.

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Open terrain, waste ground, ruderal places, road sides.

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