Eudonia lacustrata belongs to the family Crambidae which includes the so called Grass Moths. This is a large Family with 140+ species recorded in Britain alone.
A small/Medium sized moth with a 15-20mm 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 May-Aug (2).
It’s place in the Garden (Visitor/Lured)
The larva/caterpillars feed on mosses, of which a few species are present in the Garden, however it is unclear if the larva can feed on the species present here.
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 (2) show this species to be common across Britain, with only Northern Ireland showing significant gaps. Mosses are more common in some gardens than others and the only species we have noted named for this moth is Hypnum compressiforme, which is a widespread and common moss species and will almost certainly be present in nearby woodlands across the country. If it is present in your garden then it is possible this species may be resident, but more likely a visitor.
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/eudonia-lacustrata/adult-2/ – 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