Typically the whitish forewing with extensive grey-brown cross-bands help to identify this moth. Paler forms can be found in some calcareous districts. A darker and obscurely marked race occurs on the Shetlands. Flies by day, from late afternoon to early dusk, sometimes in large numbers. Also flies after dark.

The larvae can be found from mid June to August living inside the seed capsules, before they overwinter as pupae underground.

Size and Family

  • Family – Carpets and Allies (Larentiines)
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan range - 20-24mm

Conservation Status

    • UK BAP: Priotiry species (Research only)
    • Local (only found in some areas)

    Caterpillar Food Plants

    Ripening seeds of Yellow-rattle (Rhinanthus minor).


    Mainly found in lowland habitats and around the coast. Associated with grasslands, including calcareous grasslands, wet meadows, dune slacks, coastal shingle and some moorland.


    • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland
    • Widely distributed in England, Wales and Scotland, including the Hebrides and Orkney. Also reported from the Isle of Man. Widely recorded, but with a thinly scattered distribution in Ireland.