Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Nationally Scarce B

Local Status: Rare coastal resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: Mid Jun-mid Aug.

Forewing: 10-14mm.

Foodplant: Sandy grasses, such as Marram.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded188519941885
Year last recorded200320012003
Number of records15846
Number of individuals211368
Unique positions11430
Unique locations10326
Adult records10836
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 46 records from 26 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1885.


1432 Anerastia lotella 03
© Jack Oughton
1432 Anerastia lotella 02
© Jenny Seawright
1432 Anerastia lotella 01
© Jenny Seawright

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A species restricted to coastal sandhills in England, Wales and southern Scotland, the larva feeding nocturnally on marram (Ammophila arenaria) and fescues (Festuca spp.) hiding in the sand by day. In Dorset, the moth is frequent very locally amongst marram and rush-leaved fescue (Festuca juncifolia) growing on the sand dunes facing Studland Bay and frequent in similar habitat on the northern periphery of Hengistbury Head. The following record from Chesil Beach suggests that there was a colony there many years ago, indeed, small quantities of marram in the Ferrybridge area remain to the present day: Chesil Beach, (Dr F Haines), common amongst marram (N Richardson). A more recent record may be the result of dispersal at the end of June 2003: Portland, on 3 July 2003 (M Cade).

Marram, which is an important dune forming plant, is under pressure from human leisure pursuits on Chesil, Studland and Hengistbury Head. Some fencing has been erected to protect the marram on Studland, and such measures will doubtless be beneficial to this species: Studland, plentiful (Reverend E Bankes), Sandbanks, at one time common but rapidly being obliterated (W Parkinson Curtis), Brands Bay, at MV light on 6 July 1998 and Studland Heath, ten at MV light on 6 August 1998 (P Davey), Shell Bay, at MV light on 4 August 1979 (Dr P Sterling), 1 September 1991, 23 August 1992 (R McCormick), 14 August 1993 (N Binstead), six on 20 June 1996 (P Davey), 21 July 2001 (R Cook), Studland Bay, at MV light on 17 August 1997 (P Davey), Hengistbury Head, at MV light on 4 August 1994, two on 5 July 1997, five on 30 June 2001 (M Jeffes).

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species