Anania lancealis


Anania lancealis belongs to the family Crambidae which includes the so called Grass Moths. This is a large Family with 140+ species recorded in Britain alone.

Anania lancealis


A medium sized moth with a 26-34mm wingspan(1). This is one that can be identified in the garden with a good photograph and reference material. It is single brooded and flies June-August (2).

It’s place in the Garden (Possible Resident)

The larva/caterpillars feed on the leaves of Hemp Agrimony, Hedge Woundwort, Woodsage, Ragworts, by spinning the lower edge of the leaf down and feeding from beneath (2). With Common Ragwort present in the garden this can be recorded as a possible resident, but with ragwort and some of the other named food plant species above, such as Hedge Woundwort, present in the nearby woodland, it is perhaps less likely to lay eggs in our Garden.

Anania lancealis

All stages of a moths development are subject to a wide range of predators. Including small mammals, birds and amphibians. Other invertebrates are also a major threat, including dragonflies, beetles, lacewing and wasps. As such whilst many view certain caterpillars as a pest, these small packets of protein help support a wide array of other beneficial and interesting species. Moths are of course interesting in their own right and are very welcome in the Garden.

How to encourage the species to your garden

Current distribution maps place this species across most the southern half of England and Wales (2), so if you live in these areas and have one of the named food plants, there is a chance the moth will arrive of its own accord.

Alternatively, you can lure moths to you by leaving a secure window open and a light on during the warmer months, or better still invest in a moth trap. Even if you don’t see this species, you may be visited by many other interesting species.

  1. UK Moths: Species Account Page. – Accessed online 11th December 2022
  2. Sterling, P & Parsons, M (2012): Bloomsbury Wildlife Guides: Field Guide to the Micro moths of Great Britain and Ireland. Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd