Orthotelia sparganella

    Alternative names
    Reed Smudge

    Wingspan 20 to 28 mm. A fairly distinctive species, with a rather tent like body shape and with an ochreous or brownish wing colour that usually has noticeably paler venation and a faint row of darker dots near the dorsal edge of the wing.

    Identification difficulty

    Occupies wet localities such as ponds and canals.

    When to see it

    The adults fly in July and August and come sparingly to light.

    Life History

    Bur-reed (Sparganium) is the main foodplant, although other reeds and rushes are used. The larvae feed inside the stems.

    UK Status

    It is locally distributed from southern England northwards to southern Scotland. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.

    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

    MAP KEY:

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

    UK Map