Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and widely distributed resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: Jun-Aug.

Forewing: 9-12mm.

Foodplant: Grasses in damp areas such as Cotton-sedge and Tufted Hair-grass.

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 recorded183819941838
Year last recorded201020102010
Number of records37291926
Number of individuals564951318
Unique positions21317460
Unique locations15614340
Adult records34189860
Immature records102

For the region, we have a total of 926 records from 340 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1838.


1313 Catoptria pinella 02
© Martin Wood
1313 Catoptria pinella 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species, although frequent in the south and west of Britain, the larva feeding on the stem bases of grasses (Poaceae), including cottongrass (Eriophorum spp.) and tufted hair-grass (Deschampsia cespitosa).

In Dorset, the moth is frequent on sandy soils and rises to common on heathland both dry and wet, where wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and cotton-grass grow, respectively. Elsewhere, the moth is locally frequent, both inland and on the coast in old grassland or open woodland on clay soils that are well stocked with tufted hair-grass. Regular but low density records from chalky soil inland and on the coast suggests colonisation of this habitat type also.

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