This generally common species occurs on wild Dactylis glomerata; it is also capable of damaging seed crops of cultivated cocksfoot. The larvae hollow out the seeds but infestations are of little or no importance.
Adults occur in late May and June. They often swarm, in groups of 10 or more, over the flowerheads of host plants. Eggs are laid at the base of the seeds and hatch about 2 weeks later. Larvae, which feed throughout July, at first attack the stamens of the florets; later, they bore inside the developing seeds. Individuals are fully grown in about a month. Each then overwinters in a cocoon spun inside a grass stem. Pupation occurs in the spring and adults emerge 3-4 weeks later.
Adult 7-8mm wingspan; forewings mainly dark brownish-bronze, ornamented with silvery markings, five white strigulae on the apical half of the costa, an oblique white streak and a black apical
spot (Fig. 273); hindwings dark grey. Larva up to 6 mm long; body whitish-green; head and prothoracic plate black.
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