Sunday, 23 July 2017

Small Ranunculus reaches Abergavenny

I have had my eye on the increasingly large colony of Prickly Lettuce in the Llanfoist/Abergavenny area for the last couple of years, and eventually I found time to stop for a Small Ranunculus search.  After about 10 minutes I found the distinctive larvae feeding on the upper flower buds - 10+ in all, on 2 of the 30+ plants I checked.  I remember finding them in Newport XX years ago, shortly after Roger James caught the imago and re-established this species as a Welsh resident, and the species has slowly spread along the SE Wales coast.  Abergavenny is a significant inland step for this increasing moth; now I need to check the scattered Prickly Lettuce plants in Monmouth...

The Lettuces also held a couple of small, pallid, grub-like larvae that might be identifiable.  Mines of Chrysoesthia sexgutella were on Goosefoot nearby.


  1. Well done Sam. Funnily enough I checked Prickly Lettuce plants yesterday(23rd) in Chepstow around a site which contained 30+ larvae a few years back. Unfortunately development has arrived but the seeds have dispersed and are finding new ground. The council keeps spraying plants which annoys me no end- I wish that somebody would educate them!

  2. The `run` of excellent Mons moths continues Sam. I`ll have to stop looking at this blogsite to keep my jealously levels down!
    Well done all.
    Westwards in Carms, prickly lettuce was a rarity until the early 1990s but I suspect that it came in on developers` heavy-duty vehicles; now it`s fairly frequent in usually small quantities. The local authorities here too also spray as if there`s no tomorrow!


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