Eriocrania sparrmannella

Alternative names
Mottled Purple

Wingspan 10 to 13 mm.  The adult moths are very attractive when viewed closely, having a metallic golden ground colour, intensely speckled with purple and blue. There is also a golden tornal spot. Like related species, the larva mines a leaf of the foodplant (Birch), starting with a narrow gallery, leading to a blotch filled with filament-like threads of frass.

Identification difficulty

Adult Leafmine (larva and leafmine must be photographed)

Recording advice

Adult: Unless identified by a recognised expert, a photo is required and the specimen should be examined with a microscope. In the comments box, state the key or ID method used and describe the size and identifying characters.  The specimen should be retained as genitalia determination may be required for adults of this species.

Leafmine: The mine and larva must be photographed for this species. If the photo doesn't show the key ID features then in the comments box describe the size and identifying characters you have observed.


Areas where Birch is found.

When to see it

Adults fly from late April into May. This is followed by the leafmines on Birch. Eriocrania sparrmannella is the latest of the Betula feeding Eriocraniidae, with larvae feeding from mid-June into August.

UK Status

The species is locally but well distributed throughout Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

VC55 Status

Rare or rarely recorded in Leicestershire and Rutland.

2.004 BF9

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map