35.071 Monochroa lucidella (Stephens, 1834)

Status and Distribution

Local in England and Wales, very local in Ireland, and rare in south west Scotland and the Channel Islands. Apparently absent from Isle of Man and Northern Ireland. There are some indications that it may be expanding its range slightly northwards.

National Status: 


Bradley & Fletcher no: 

Photographer: ©P Clement

Provisional Map

Maps updated with all data received by January 2022.


Monochroa lucidella (Photo: P Clement)  Monochroa lucidella Tynemouth, Northumberland 18/7/2013 (Photo: T Tams)  Monochroa lucidella Tynemouth, Northumberland 18/7/2013(Photo: T Tams)  Monochroa lucidella (Photo: G & D Atherton)  Monochroa lucidella (Photo: UKleps)  Monochroa lucidella Glos 2016 (Photo: O Wadsworth)  Monochroa lucidella Cumbria (Photo: N Voaden)  Monochroa lucidella Cumbria (Photo: N Voaden)

Set Specimens

Monochroa lucidella bred ex Eleocharis sp. 1997 Arrowan, Cornwall (Photo: R J Heckford)   Monochroa lucidella 23.vii.1983, Penhale, Perranporth, Cornwall

Monochroa lucidella male (Photo: P Hall)

Dissection Group

Foodplant and Larval Feeding Signs

Eleocharis palustris (common spike-rush), see plant distribution map.

In Europe also found on Juncus sp. (rushes), Scirpus sylvaticus (wood club-rush) and Typha spp. (reedmace).

No external signs of feeding damage.

Foodplant Map


Monochroa lucidella habitat Clyde Valley 2016 (Photo: R Weddle)   

Margins of ponds, lakes, slow-flowing rivers and streams, fens, marshes, swamps, wet meadows and in ditches, dune-slacks and saltmarshes. Has turned up in light traps on occasions quite some distance from suitable habitat.

Finding the Moth

Larva: in the stem, with no external signs of feeding during May and June.

Adult: can be swept from amongst the foodplant, flies in the late afternoon, at night and comes to light. Occasionally wanders some distance from suitable habitat.

Similar Species

Variable in colour from ochreous white with slightly darker mottling to fuscous with little mottling. Darker forms can resemble the dark form of Monochroa lutulentella, which is larger with broader wings and the first four segments of the abdomen ochreous yellow above (fuscous in M. lucidella).

Larval Occurrence

Larval Occurrence

Flight Period

Flight Period

Single brooded from mid-June to early August.

Earliest: 24th May 2007 (VC24)

Latest: September 2002 (VC1)