This micro moth is only 3 or 4mm long and is dark grey with silvery-white streaks and a black spot at the apex. Seen during the summer months, it is a very common species in much of Britain and Ireland, where it can be found on sunny days visiting flowers, especially those of buttercup (Ranunculus) and Daisy (Asteraceae). There can sometimes be more than two dozen adults to a single flower.

Easily overlooked but when inspected closely, the moths can be recognised as they slowly 'pump' their wings open and closed. Occasionally comes to light.

The tiny caterpillars feed on the seeds of their foodplant, which is mainly cock's foot (Dactylis glomerata) grass. When the fully grown, the larvae will enter the stem of the grass to pupate. Infested stems can be detected by the presence of small holes along their length.

Flight Times

Flies between May and early July in a single generation.

Size and Family

  • Family – Glyphipterigidae

  • Small sized

  • Wingspan Range – 6-9mm

Conservation Status

  • UK BAP: Not listed

  • Common

Caterpillar Food Plants

The larvae feed mainly on grasses, mainly cock's foot (Dactylis glomerata) and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea).

Habitat

They are found most often on unmanaged grassland.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland

  • Common and often abundant across range

Cocksfoot Moth - Ryszard Szczygieł

Cocksfoot Moth

Cocksfoot Moths - Ben Sale

Cocksfoot Moths

Cocksfoot Moth on daisy - Ben Sale

Cocksfoot Moth on daisy

Cocksfoot Moth on daisy - Mark Schofield

Cocksfoot Moth on daisy

Cocksfoot Moth - Stuart Read

Cocksfoot Moth

Cocksfoot Moth - Ben Sale

Cocksfoot Moth

cock's foot grass - Dean Morley

cock's foot grass

cock's foot grass - Dean Morley

cock's foot grass