The Moths of Suffolk
2165 Small Ranunculus, Hecatera dysodea, (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)

National Status : Common

Local Status : Recent colonist and immigrant (SMP Status 4)

Habitats : Roadside verges, old chalk pits, gardens, rough open areas

Flight Period : Single-brooded; June to early August

Larval foodplants : Prickly Lettuce and also Great Lettuce, eating the flowers and seeds mainly

Distribution and abundance : Previously an immigrant species that has now colonised areas in the south-east of the county. Areas between Felixstowe and Ipswich would appear to be the main centre of population based on sightings of larvae and adults to date.

Morley's Final Catalogue : Regarded as not uncommon' throughout the County by Bloomfield, and too general to locate. But our sole records since 1890 are from Bury, where it was taken in 1898 (Tuck) and bred from larvae (Sparke).

Wingspan details : Forewing 14-15mm, Wingspan 32-34mm

Identification

Confusion species
    AdultBroad-barred White, Hecatera bicolorata
Large Ranunculus, Polymixis flavicincta
Feathered Ranunculus, Polymixis lichenea

Compare confusion species
    Adult

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Ex-larva - Kent (3.vi.2003) © L Gregory

Life history chart
JFMAMJJASOND
pupa pupa pupa pupa pupa imago ovalarvaimago larva pupa pupa pupa pupa

Further Photographs

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Feeding on Prickly Lettuce seedheads - Ipswich, Suffolk (13.viii.2011) © A Prichard
Blars, France. (ix.2006) © Neil Sherman
Bawdsey, Suffolk (8.vii.2009) © Matthew Deans
 
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Feeding on Prickly Lettuce seedheads - Ipswich, Suffolk (13.viii.2011) © A Prichard
Feeding on Prickly Lettuce seedheads - Ipswich, Suffolk (13.viii.2011) © A Prichard
Early instar feeding on Prickly Lettuce seedheads - Ipswich, Suffolk (13.viii.2011) © A Prichard
 
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First county larval record - found feeding on Prickly Lettuce seedheads - Landguard, Felixstowe, Suffolk (12.viii.2011) © Neil Sherman
Ipswich, Suffolk (7.vii.2012) © Paul Kitchener
Ex larva found in 2011, hatched June 2012 - Landguard, Felixstowe, Suffolk (12.viii.2011) © Neil Sherman
 
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Found feeding on Prickly Lettuce seedheads on road verge - Foxhall, Suffolk (3.viii.2012) © Neil Sherman
ex larva - Ipswich, Suffolk (13.vi.2012) © A Prichard
ex larva - Ipswich, Suffolk (13.vi.2012) © A Prichard
 
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Found at rest by day on railway bridge close to larval foodplant - Wherstead woods, Suffolk (21.ix.2014) © Neil Sherman
Feeding on Garden lettuce left to flower in allotment, first breeding record - Ipswich, Suffolk (15.viii.2015) © Neil Sherman
Feeding on Garden lettuce left to flower in allotment, first breeding record - Ipswich, Suffolk (15.viii.2015) © Neil Sherman
 
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Ipswich, Suffolk (23.vii.2017) © Paul Kitchener