- Wingspan: 10-15 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Urtica - Parietaria
The Anthophila fabriciana is a moth of the Choreutidae family with a wingspan of 10-15 mm.
Quite common species in Europe, it is not present in some states of the Balkan Peninsula, in Slovenia and in Armenia *.
It is also present in the Asian continents and precisely, in China (Taiwan, Xinjiang), in the Himalaya, Mongolia, Asian Russia, Korea, Japan (Hokkaido, Honsyu, Shikoku), in Afghanistan and Kazakhstan. In 2013 it was also reported in Canada **. In Italy it is also visible in the islands *.
The front wings of Anthophila fabriciana are a mosaic of shaded dark brown color, marbled with light gray, (sometimes with an icy or metallic appearance) with a yellowish-white rib spot and post-median band. The edge of the front wing is white and brown checkered. The hind wings are brown in color fringed with white, with a light spot in the cubital area. The abdomen shows large clear bands.
These moths fly in two generations from May to September, depending on the location and can sometimes be found in large numbers around bushes of nettle (Urtica dioica), the larval host plant. Anthophila fabriciana is found in uncultivated land and in hedges and in gardens, where Urtica dioica grows.
The eggs are laid on the stem or on both surfaces of a leaf of the food plant. The larvae are up to 12 mm long, light cream green or greenish-white in color with dark spots on each segment. They live in an individual and highly visible web on the leaf of the host plant, generally on the upper surface, between the edges of the leaf joined together by a silky thread.
The larvae feed on Urtica dioica and Parietaria officinalis.
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Shared but overlooked: 30 species of Holarctic Microlepidoptera revealed by DNA barcodes and morphology