There are two Lyonetia species on the British list, with clerkella being the one most of us are familiar with. As it happens, even this is an uncommon visitor to my garden trap so I’m in the habit of potting the odd one up for no other reason than to remind myself that this is what it is. Going through the trap after a very warm Wednesday night (24 July) I noticed two Lyonetia which I assumed were both clerkella. Luckily, I potted one up for latter. With the following night also being on the busy side it wasn’t until Friday that I was able to take a proper look. By then, the moth had died but that did make it easier to see through a hand-lens! The most striking feature was actually missing, the orangey-brown spot near the costa, which soon had me wondering if I’d potted up by accident the much rarer prunifoliella. I eventually managed to post some (poor) back of camera images on the local Whats App group and the feedback seems to be positive so, on that basis, below is a picture of what appears to be the second Suffolk record of Lyonetia prunifoliella.
Matthew & Neil have made me aware that John Chainey took prunifoliella at Westleton last summer so I guess the moral of this story is – don’t assume all your Lyonetia are clerkella’s !!