35.026 Acompsia cinerella (Clerck, 1759)

Status and Distribution

Locally common in some parts of southern England and the central highlands of Scotland, otherwise local to very local across much of the rest of the British Isles. Apparently absent from the Outer Hebrides and Northern Isles.

National Status: Local
Bradley & Fletcher no: 855
Photographer: © P Parsons

Provisional map


Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

Mosses (species unspecified). The larva is undescribed but has been found in moss at the base of a tree; may also be associated with mosses away from trees.


Acompsia cinerella habitat Aberdeenshire 2016 (Photo: © S Palmer)

Amongst grassy areas in woodland, herb rich grassy areas, railway and canal banks and undercliffs.

Finding the Moth

Larva: undescribed in the British Isles but searches in mosses near or on the base of trees in April or May would be worthwhile. It is documented that a larva was bred through at Wicken Fen in 1878 (F. Bond) without description of the larva, feeding signs or foodplant.

Adult: swept from herb rich turf, beaten from scrub and frequent at light.

Similar Species

The broad forewing and hindwing with a lack of any prominent markings are distinctive. On a few occasions specimens of this moth have been found in historic Museum collections amongst specimens of Bryotropha politella.

May, June
June, July, August

Single brooded from early June to August and occasionally found in very small numbers in late May and through to late September.