Seq # 255120010

Diurnea fagella (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775) Species

Last modified: Sept. 7, 2023, 12:28 p.m.

A common early spring species throughout Belgium.


Family: Lypusidae > Subfamily: Chimabachinae > Genus: Diurnea > Species: Diurnea fagella
Vernacular names
Voorjaarskortvleugelmot (NL), la Teigne du hêtre (FR), Buchenmotte, Sängerin (DE)
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 23. view page




The females have short wings and are unable to fly. The species shows quite some variability in the coloration of the wings: forewing ground colour most of the time greyish, but some albinistic forms are known and also some very dark to almost blackish forms.

Museum specimens

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Specimens in nature


Pale greyish green, lighter between the abdominal segments, the head capsule yellowish orange with a lateral black spot. The prothoracic plate is green with a small lateral black spot. The thoracic legs pale green.


The egg is oviposited on a twig or shoot of the larval hostplant in March–May.
The larva lives between two leaves spun together. The frass is ejected from the feeding space. The first instars only eat the upper or lower parenchyma leaving the rest of the leaf intact, but later instars consume the entire leaf, starting from the leaf margin. Their development is slow and can take the entire summer.
The species hibernates in the pupal stage, though some authors have observed that the species sometimes hibernates in a prepupal and even larval stage till February or March.
Adults hide during the day on tree trunks, they can easily be observed on the trunks of Fagus, Fraxinus or Quercus. The males come readily to light. The females rest on branches and tree trunks, when disturbed they spread their shortened wings and sway to the ground.

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Flight periods

One generation a year: from early March till the end of April.

Observed on

Host plant (species):
Fagus sylvatica
Host plant (genera):
Quercus, Betula and Salix

Polyphagous species. The caterpillar lives on various deciduous trees and bushes, like: Acer, Betula, Carpinus, Corylus, Crataegus, Fagus sylvatica, Malus, Populus, Prunus, Quercus, Rosa, Rubus, Salix, Sorbus, Tilia, and Vaccinium myrtillus.

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Very different kind of habitats like deciduous and mixed forests, parks, gardens, ruderal places.

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