Chrysoteuchia culmella belongs to the family Crambidae which includes the so called Grass Moths, of which this is one of the most common, perhaps the most common in this part of the world. This is a large Family with 140+ species recorded in Britain alone.
A small moth with a 20mm wingspan(1). This is one that can be identified in the garden, see image below. It is single brooded and flies May-Sep (2).
It’s place in the Garden (Possible Resident)
The larva/caterpillars feed on stems of grasses, typically lower down so may well be resident in the Garden, it is certainly seen frequently.
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
Distribution maps (2) suggest this common grass moth species is found across Britain and as its foodplant is grass (we are not sure if it has a preferred species) then it is likely to be commonly found in gardens.
It can be disturbed during the day, we often do so when cutting areas of grass in the summer. 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.
- UK Moths: Species Account Page. https://ukmoths.org.uk/species/chrysoteuchia-culmella/ – Accessed online 21st December 2022
- Sterling, P & Parsons, M (2012): Bloomsbury Wildlife Guides: Field Guide to the Micro moths of Great Britain and Ireland. Bloomsbury Publishing Ltd