Saxifrage Plume - Stenoptilia millieridactyla

Alternative names
Saxifrage Plume

Wingspan 17 to 20 mm. Often has a bronzy colouring along the dorsum (trailing edge) of the hind wing.

Identification difficulty

Various habitats including gardens.

When to see it

The adults fly in June and July, with a small second generation in late August and early September in some years.

Life History

Larvae have been found occasionally on wild Mossy saxifrage (Saxifraga hypnoides) but other larval records are from cultivars of S. hypnoides in gardens. Garden records may originate from larvae introduced with bought plants, but the moth is able to spread between gardens, and has mainly been found in areas not very distant from wild populations of S. hypnoides. From late August the young larvae unobtrusively mine leaves and stems of the foodplant. Leaf mines are largest and most easily detected in the following April, but larvae are most obvious in May and early June when they feed externally on the leaves and flowers of Mossy saxifrage. The red stripes on 5mm larvae usually fade as they grow. Pupae in June and July, and sometimes August, are attached to the plant.

UK Status

Rather scarce and local in Britain. In the Butterfly Conservation's Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as 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