Pseudohermenias abietana

Author: (Fabricius, 1787)

Species Overview:

Adult: 12-18 mm wingspan. Forewing ground colour white, heavily strigulated with dark-brown, veins also dark brown; with several dark reddish brown patches; the costal striae are often reduced. Hindwing dark greyish brown, with anal fold.
Larva: head black; prothoracic plate yellowish, posterior edge blackish; abdomen reddish-brown; anal plate reddish-brown.
Pupa: dark brown to blackish; inside a tube, made out of 6-8 needles, lined with silk.

Taxonomic Description:


Pseudohermenias abietana adult
Pseudohermenias abietana adults
External characters: 12-18 mm wingspan. Forewing fairly broad; costa gradually curved, apex rounded; ground colour white, heavily strigulated with dark-brown, veins also dark brown; markings dark reddish brown, consisting of several patches, one at 1/4 of costa, one at 1/2 of costa, another one is situated somewhat above middle of dorsum, one more near tornus and a last one is situated subterminally. Smaller spots may be present at termen, at costa or between the patch at mid-costa and the one above mid-dorsum. The costal striae are often reduced. Cilia pale grey mottled with brownish grey, with dark sub-basal line. Hindwing with anal fold, dark greyish brown; cilia yellowish white with dark sub-basal line (Kennel, 1908-1921).

male genitalia P. abietana
Genitalia: Uncus strong, incised apically, bristled and hairy; socius drooping, hairy; tuba analis membranous with large basal lobes. Cucullus ovate, without ventral angle; sacculus with notch ventrally; beyond this a short spined lobe. Aedeagus simple; cornuti short, capitate spines.


External characters: Similar to male.

female genitalia P. abietana
Genitalia: Sterigma in form of a concave sclerite, extending laterally, forming a distinct tube-like structure embracing the ostium bursae. Antrum long, narrowing anteriorly; ductus seminalis originating anterior to antrum. Corpus bursae with single funnel-shaped signum.


Moths fly from in May till June, or July at higher altitudes (400-700 m). Young larvae mine the needles of Abies, Pinus and Picea ; older larvae live between spun needles. In here, they overwinter. In the spring, they pupate inside a tube, made out of 6-8 needles lined with silk (Schröder, 1978; Escherich, 1931).

Host plants:

Abies alba, Pinus sylvestris and Picea excelsa.


Larvae are generally of no economic importance because they only occur in low numbers.


Central belt of Western Europe (records from the Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Finland, Hungary) to Western Siberia.


Pheromone unknown.


Z 10-14Ac : 1
Z 8-14Ac : 1
(Booij et al., 1986)

Glypta tenuicornis, Phaeogenes fuscicornis, Microcryptus brachypterus micropterus, Hemiteles areator, Hemiteles sp., Pezomachus sp., Pimpla turionellae, Itoplectis maculator, Ephialtes pictipes, Ephialtes detrita, Ephialtes brevicornis, Omorga mutabilis, Nemeritis sp., Mesochorus orbitalis (Ichneumonidae); Microdus clausthalianus, Meteorus ruficeps, Oncophanes lanceolatur, Microplitis semicircularis, Meteorus flaviceps (Braconidae); Amblymerus subfumatus (Chalcodoidea).

Exorista larvarum (Tachinidae).

Pseudohermenias ajanensis Falkovitsh

Pseudohermenias ajanensis adult
Another species of Pseudohermenias occurring in the Palaearctic region (Eastern Russia) is Pseudohermenias ajanensis. Moths are found resting on Picea jezoensis.
The shape of the wing is slightly different from that of Pseudohermenias abietana (termen more oblique), and the ground colour is overlaid with fuscous-grey.

male genitalia P. ajanensis
The aedeagus of the male genitalia is pointed apically and does not contain cornuti (several small cornuti present in Pseudohermenias abietana); the sacculus forms an angulate projection and is provided with two sharp denticles and a blunt tubercle; ventral margin of valva provided with about a dozen long, slightly curved modified setae

female gen. P. ajanensis
Papillae analis more or less pointed apically (rounded in Pseudohermenias abietana). Sterigma with two strongly convex lateral parts, anterior margin of which rounded.