Sunday, 28 July 2013

Small Ranunculus - Great Record for Derbyshire

Caught this wee beauty the other night and no matter how hard I looked in the books I couldn't ID it. Posted this picture to #teammoth and @Stewchat suggested Small Ranunculus. Checked in Waring and it looked good, however on reading the text appeared doubtful as this species recently disappeared from the UK.  It's classed as a Nationally Scare B species and has slowly been spreading north since its reappearance in Kent in 1997. 

No way, not in my garden. 

Les Hill (@dorsetmoths) confirmed the ID of Small Ranunculus as did my County Recorder who added the following interesting information - 

'The Small Ranunculus first turned up at Beeston in 2009. It was then recorded in Alvaston in 2010 and later at Midway in 2012.  Your record serves to consolidate the likely breeding in the area.'

I have since had one more fresh looking one at the light trap so I had best get checking Prickly Lettuce!

Small Ranunculus (19/07/2013)

Just goes to show the importance and value of moth trapping and that even records from a small urban gardens are very valuable.  

Certainly the highlight of my moth-ing year (so far!) 


  1. Mark, great record! I completely agree with your sentiments on the value of moth recording. It is vital that people submit there records to their local recorder. Moths are a great indicator on the health of biodiversity!
    Last year I was luck enough to record Cumbria's first record of Plain Clay since the 1950's! This year I appear to have found my VC's (VC70) first ever records of Scarce Footman - all this in a badly kept garden :-)
    What other hobby can you realistically anticipate finding a mega in your own garden :-)

  2. Small Ranunculus first turned up in Leics. in 2006 and has very quickly become a regular and expected species in most garden traps, though only usually in ones or twos. Took a while to turn up in my garden, and seems that light trapping is not a good way of recording whether this species is around. Checking Prickly Lettuce for larvae is likely to show that it is a lot commoner in your area than you may think. First time I tried I found loads very easily, and close to home despite only ever recording a handful of adults.