Wingspan 11 to 20 mm. Quite a variable species, with some individuals being almost unicolorous, others with a pale streak along the fore edge of the darker brown wing, and some with obvious darker patches on a mottled forewing. It is also very variable in size and easily confused with other Bactra species.
It occupies marshes and heaths.
The adults are readily attracted to light and are on the wing in two generations between May and early October.
The larvae feed on various rushes.
Rather common throughout Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.
Fairly frequent but not common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = B (scarce resident or restricted distribution or regular migrant).
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015