Nationally scarce (Nb) on coastal saltmarshes and sandy beaches in southern England and southern Wales, becoming more local northwards and recorded as far north as south Aberdeenshire (MBGBI Vol 4 part 2). In Hampshire reasonably common along the coast from Warsash in the west to Sandy Point, Hayling in the east; not recorded elsewhere in the county or on the Isle of Wight to date. Wingspan 12-14 mm. The palest of our Scrobipalpa
species; other species with which it can be confused, for example S. nitentella
, and S. atriplicella
, usually have much darker forewings with often bigger or more distinct dark spots; some forms of S. salinella
can be superficially similar, but S. obsoletella
is greyer and without any red-brown coloration on the wings (MBGBI Vol 4 part 2). Larva feeds within stems of Orache, over-wintering as a pupa.