Nationally scarce (Nb) on saltmarshes and sandy beaches along parts of the coast of the British Isles. In Hampshire and on the Isle of Wight apparently absent from the southern coast of the Isle of Wight. Wingspan 12-15 mm. Can be confused with several other members of the genus: S. obsoletella
is generally more obscurely marked and has less fuscous irroration; some forms of S. samadensis
approach S. nitentella
, although the latter species usually appears more grey; similar forms of S. salinella
are usually less heavily irrorate and have more distinct stigmata; one form of S. suaedella
is similar, but this form has the stigmata less well marked and with less fuscous irroration than S. nitentella
; often can only reliably be separated from these species by dissection of the genitalia (MBGBI Vol 4 part 2). Larva mines leaves of Goosefoot, Annual Sea-blite, Sea-purslane, Grass-leaved Orache, Spear-leaved Orache and Glasswort, subsequently living within a silken tube or tent, and over-wintering as a pupa.