Ochsenheimeria urella

Alternative names
Variable Stem-moth

Wingspan about 11mm. The females of this species have their antennae thickened with elongated scales for about three-fifths of their length, creating a noticeably 'shaggy' appearance. Males have slightly thickened antennae over three fifths, though with recumbent scales. Both sexes sport a tuft of erect scales on the head, and the forewing has some raised scales, though not so noticeable as those on O. taurella.

Identification difficulty

Grassy areas.

When to see it

Adult moths fly in July and August and are on the wing in the morning if it is sunny, later hiding deep among the grass stems.

Life History

The larvae feed on grasses, such as Couch grass (Agropyron) and Brome (Bromus), mining the leaves then later feeding inside the stems.

UK Status

Fairly widespread but infrequent throughout much of the British Isles. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as Nationally Scarce B.

VC55 Status

It appears to be uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).

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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