Dark Ash Bud Moth - Prays ruficeps

Description

Wingspan 14-17 mm. Originally thought a dark form of Prays fraxinella (Ash Bud Moth). DNA bar coding indicates that P. ruficeps is a species distinct from P. fraxinella. The latter does have a dark form but in it the faint fraxinella markings can still be distinguished. Prays ruficeps is uniformly dark brown/blackish with an orangey red head.

Identification difficulty
Habitat

Around wooded areas containing Ash.

When to see it

Late April to September.

UK Status

Accepted as a valid species in the new British list 2013. It is thought to be widespread and fairly frequent in Britain, but records prior to 2013 are uncertain due to the species being recorded as the dark form of Ash Bud Moth.

VC55 Status

The number of VC55 records prior to 2013 is uncertain due to the species being recorded as the dark form of Ash Bud Moth. Our NatureSpot records would indicate that Prays ruficeps is in fact more frequent than Prays fraxinella in our area, but a longer period of recording will be required before that can be claimed as fact.

Reference
448a

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Leicestershire & Rutland Map

MAP KEY:

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

UK Map