Wingspan about 17mm. Part of a complex of three very similar species occurring in Britain, this is generally the smallest. To be certain of the identification of adults, reference to the genitalic structure is advised.
P. saxicola feeds on various other Compositae flower heads, including chamomile (Anthemis species). Plants on dry substrate, e.g. on walls, dry banks, or old sand dunes, seem to be favoured.
Flies in one generation between June and August.
The striped larvae are found on ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) flowers and seedheads.
The species is generally widespread, most commonly in coastal habitats. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as local.
It appears to be uncommon in Leicestershire and Rutland, where there are few records. L&R Moth Group status = D (rare or rarely recorded).
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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