35.036 Chrysoesthia sexguttella (Thunberg, 1794)

Status and Distribution

Locally common in England and Wales, more local in Northern England, central and eastern Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland; scarce in western and northern Scotland. The species demonstrates a coastal bias in much of the westerly and northerly parts of its range.

National Status: 


Bradley & Fletcher no: 

Photo courtesy of UK Moths.
Photographer: Ian Smith
Location: June, flying over Atriplex

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by February 2016.


    Chrysoesthia sexguttella bred 2015 (Photo: O Wadsworth)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella bred 2015 (Photo: O Wadsworth)   Chrysoesthia sexguttella (Photo: B Smart)   Chrysoesthia sexguttella (Photo: B Smart)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella (Photo: B Smart)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella (Photo: T & D Pendelton)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella (Photo: P Clement) 




    Chrysoesthia sexguttella larva, Grimley (Photo: O Wadsworth)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella larva (Photo: T & D Pendleton)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella larva (Photo: B Smart)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella larva (Photo: B Smart)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella larva (Photo: B Smart)




    Dissection Group

    Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

    Atriplex spp. (orache) and Chenopodium spp. (goosefoot); including Atriplex glabriuscula (babington's orache), A. halimus (sea orache, VC10, Dr D T Biggs, 2003) A. littoralis (grass-leaved orache), A. patula (common orache), A. portulacoides (sea purslane), A. prostrata (spear-leaved orache), Chenopodium album agg. (fat-hen), C. murale (nettle-leaved goosefoot) VC23 2010, C. polyspermum (many-seeded goosefoot) and C. rubrum (red goosefoot). The foodplant map shows Atriplex patula as it is one of the most frequently used larval foodplants together with Chenopodium album agg.

    In Europe it has been reported from Atriplex sagittata, Bassia scoparia (summer-cypress), Spinacia sp. and Amaranthus sp.

    Chrysoesthia sexguttella feeding signs (Photo: B Smart) Chrysoesthia mine (Photo: B Smart) Chrysoesthia sexguttella mine (Photo: B Smart)

    C sexguttella mine (Photo: T & D Pendleton)

    Foodplant Map


    Chrysoesthia sexguttella habitat, Lancs 2016 (Photo: S M Palmer)  Chrysoesthia sexguttella habitat, Lancs 2016 (Photo: S M Palmer)

    In sheltered or shaded portions of waste and arable ground as well as on the landward edge of saltmarshes where the foodplants proliferate.

    Finding the Moth

    Larva: The large white blotch-mines are readily located and can occasionally be abundant in suitable localities.

    Adult: Can be swept from amongst the larval foodplants amongst which it flies in sunny or cloudy, humid conditions; will occasionally come to light.  The moth has on occasions been found in numbers in agricultural polytunnels.

    Similar Species

    Although a small moth for the family, the short and relatively broad dark purplish-grey forewings with varying extents of ochreous yellow spots or streaks make this a distinctive species.

    Larval Occurrence

    Larval Occurrence

    Flight Period

    Flight Period

    Double brooded from the end of April to mid June and again from late July to the end of August.  There have been a significant number (c10% of adult sightings) recorded during early and mid July from across the British Isles suggesting the flight periods may vary according to the season, altitude and microclimate.

    Earliest: 25th April 2007 (VC25) and 25th April 2011 (VC74)

    Latest: 2nd October 1985 (VC91) and 2nd October 1992 (VC37)