- Wingspan: 8-9 mm
- Flight period: Jun - Aug
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Aster tripolium
The Bucculatrix maritima is a moth of the Bucculatricidae family with a wingspan of 8-9 mm.
Quite common species in the costaal areas of Europe, they are not present in the Balkan Peninsula, in Croatia, in Slovenia in Spain, in Switzerland and in Belarus.
In Italy it is absent from the islands *.
Adults have fringed, light brown / ocher front wings with a creamy white stripe that crosses them longitudinally, from the basal to the distal region. Three white lines, sometimes with a triangular shape, always creamy white, start from the costa in the direction of the strip, the third is in the apical area. Two more white lines start from the inner margin towards the central strip. A black dusting is visible along the edge and on the fringes of the wings. Sometimes two black spots are visible on the first line starting from the inner margin near the central strip.
The hind wings are gray and finer, they are strongly fringed, almost "feathered". Like other representatives of this family it has the characteristic "tuft" on the head, it is of the background color of the wings streaked in white
Often due to its small size (wingspan 8-9 mm), it is often overlooked when in adult stage. It bears a superficial resemblance to some of the Phyllonorycter (Gracillariidae) species. Adult moths fly from late May to August, in two generations. Visible in the late afternoon and in the twilight zone, from time to time they come to artificial light.
The larvae create a narrow tunnel containing the droppings (black or brown) in the leaves of the host plant and subsequently one or more shorter tunnels or spots of various shapes.
The larvae feed on Aster tripolium.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/