The Brighton Wainscot is a straw-coloured moth with two distinctive pale broad stripes. It was first seen in Britain near Brighton in the late 19th century, which gives it its common name. During most of the 20th century it appeared to be thriving and was widely recorded across southern England but has since rapidly declined.

It overwinters as an egg which is laid on the foodplant in late summer. The larvae hatch in late spring or early summer. They pupate in the ground between June and July.

Flight Times

The adults have one generation from late July to mid August, and are sometimes disturbed during the day from farm machinery.

Size and Family

  • Family – Xyleninae

  • Medium sized

  • Wingspan Range – 28-34mm

Conservation Status

  • Priority species in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan

  • Proposed Red Data Book species

  • Formerly Nationally Scarce A

Caterpillar Food Plants

The larvae feed inside the stems of various grasses and on the grains of cereal crops.


It mainly lives in the grassy margins of cereal fields.


  • Countries – England

  • It was last recorded from a single site on Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire but is possibly now extinct in Britain.

Brighton Wainscot - David Green

Brighton Wainscot