This species has an annual life cycle. It flies by day in a spinning motion that can be difficult to follow. Adults are seen in May, June and into July, but has been recorded in late April, August and September. The caterpillar feeds from July until autumn on the leaves and flowers of the foodplant, goldenrod, inhabiting a slight silken web under the lower leaves.

It is found in south-east woodlands in Kent, Sussex and Surrey, otherwise recently recorded from several sites in north-west England, the Morecambe Bay area being a national stronghold. Also known from Herefordshire and Gloucestershire, reported from Lincolnshire, and also historically recorded from several other counties.

This species is associated with a sole foodplant, goldenrod. Goldenrod is apparently declining, probably more so in woodland and scrubby areas where it disappears as conditions become too shady.

Flight Season

Flies from May to September but mainly in June and July in one generation but possibly with a partial second brood in the Burren, Ireland.

Size and Family

  • Family - Crambidae
  • Small Sized 
  • Wingspan Range - 21mm

Conservation status

  • Red Data Book. Nationally Scarce
  • Very Local, possibly declining

Caterpillar Food Plants

Caterpillars feed on the flowers and leaves of Goldenrod (Solidago) and occasionally dyer's greenweed (Genista tinctoria).

Habitat

Can be found in woodland glades and margins, also rough hillsides and cliffs, particularly on limestone.

Distribution

  • Countries – England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland
  • Very local but still found in some south-eastern woodlands, parts of western England, Wales, Scotland and southern and western Ireland.
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