Crambus perlella – Out in the fresh summer fields I often disturb these moths and others of their kind from the grasses and low vegetation as I pass through. They don’t usually fly far and soon settle back into the growth. You do have to watch very carefully where they land as you can easily lose them.
Copyright: Peter Hillman Camera used: Nikon D7200 Date taken: 7th July 2019 Place: Local field, Staffordshire
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.
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.
The photographs featured here show the variations in some of the species I have managed to photograph and may help in identification.