Grass Moths

Crambus perlella

Crambus perlella

Crambidae or Crambid Snout Moths belong to the superfamily Pyraloidea, or Pyralid moths, these long-snouted grass moths are sometimes listed as a subfamily to the Pyralidae family. They are often encountered when disturbed from the grass on sunny days, or when attracted to light at night. They are quite a varied group, some having quite distinctive colours and markings. The larvae feed on the roots of grasses, stems,  and sometimes on moss. Some of these Crambids can become serious pests of cereal crops.

Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella

Garden Grass-veneer Chrysoteuchia culmella

There are 117 UK species which are in 8 subfamilies. One of these subfamilies is called Crambinae, and this is where the grass moths reside. There are 33 UK species with several migrants. These grass moths (also called “grass-veneers”) have narrow forewings and broad hindwings. They often rest on grass stems, or sometimes plant stems, facing downwards with their wings tightly packed against their body to make themselves look inconspicuous to predators. They are easily disturbed during the day when walking through grassland, and do not generally fly very far before settling down again. They actually appear larger in flight because of their broader hindwings. The caterpillars feed on the stems or roots of a variety of grasses and sometimes moss.

Crambus pascuella

Crambus pascuella

The photographs featured here show the variations in some of the species I have managed to photograph and may help in identification.

Agriphila geniculea

Agriphila geniculea

Agriphila straminella

Agriphila straminella

Catoptria falsella

Catoptria falsella


Taken during 2011, rear garden and local field, Staffordshire. © Pete Hillman 2011.

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