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Eudonia cf. mercurella

(Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Subfamily: Scopariinae
  • Wingspan: 16-19 mm
  • Flight period: Jul - Aug
  • Spread: Common
  • Host plants: Mosses


The Eudonia mercurella also called Small Grey is a moth of the Crambidae family, Scopariinae subfamily, with a wingspan of 16-19 mm.
In Europe it is present almost everywhere, it is absent only from Slovenia and Ukraine. In Italy it is also present in the islands. *

The anterior wing is whitish in color strongly sprinkled with gray and / or brown scales, divided by two greenish gray lines. The first in the basal region slightly edged in white towards the inside. The second in the post discal region, serrated and edged in white towards the outside.
In the median area, the scales form a patch with one or two empty spaces inside. The wings are fringed in white, with a gray checkered pattern at the base of the fringes.
The hind wings are whitish in color with slight brown shades along the veins and the edge. They too are fringed in white with the same, less intense pattern compared to the fore wings, at the base of the fringes.

Head, thorax and abdomen are whitish in color; the palps are whitish above, dark grayish green on the sides.

It can sometimes be confused with the light version of Eudonia lacustrata , a species that has slightly wider and less pointed front wings, and with the subterminal line interrupted.
Quite common species in continental Europe, in a wide range of habitats such as woods, gardens, moors, meadows and swamps, although its similarity to many other species makes it difficult to identify. The daytime resting places are rocks and tree trunks.

The caterpillar is greenish in color with a series of semi-transparent brown dots on each segment. The head and prothoracic plate are brown. **

The larvae, like many of its congeners, feed on mosses that grow on tree trunks and walls.

* Lepidoptera mundi - Fauna Europea
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten -

Eudonia mercurella
Eudonia mercurella
Eudonia mercurella
Eudonia mercurella
Eudonia mercurella
Eudonia mercurella
Eudonia mercurella