Ash Bud Moth - Prays fraxinella


Wingspan 14-17 mm. The typical form is distinctive and easy to recognise, less so the dark form which closely resemble Prays ruficeps.  In the dark form of Prays fraxinella the markings of the standard form remain faintly visible against the dark wing colouration.

Identification difficulty

Around wooded areas containing Ash.

When to see it

The adult is on the wing from June to July although a plainer, darker form is often found into August.

Life History

The larvae of this species, as the English name suggests, feed on the buds of Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in its later stages. As a smaller larva, it mines the leaf.

UK Status

Quite common with records concentrated in the south and north-west of England. In the Butterfly Conservation’s Microlepidoptera Report 2011 this species was classified as common.

VC55 Status

Fairly frequent but not common in Leicestershire and Rutland. L&R Moth Group status = B (scarce resident or restricted distribution or regular migrant)

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map


Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015

UK Map