Status and Distribution
Local in central southern England, very local in parts of eastern and south-eastern England, the midlands and south Yorkshire; rare in south Wales.
Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs
Centaurea scabiosa (greater knapweed), see plant distribution map.
In Europe, also found on Centaurea diffusa, C. paniculata and C. solstitialis.
Occupied seedheads remain closed and keep their seeds.
Finding the Moth
Larva: from September onwards, in the seed-head. Pupates in April.
Adult: can be disturbed during the day near to the foodplant, flies at night and comes to light.
This species lacks any black stigmata on the forewing (present in M. metzneriella). Some of the Metzneria species have a similar ground colour but this is the only species with orange-red streaks. M. metzneriella can occasionally have strongly reddish-brown streaks but these do not have an orange tinge.
Single-brooded from late May to end of July.
Earliest: 28th May 2010 (VC16).
Latest: 7th August 2002 (VC8).