Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Local

Local Status: Rare and very local resident.

Local Record: Grade 3   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, Sep-Oct.

Forewing: 17-22mm.

Foodplant: Herbaceous plants.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded190519971905
Year last recorded201119982011
Number of records1532310
Number of individuals2552514
Unique positions38280
Unique locations35274
Adult records1342272
Immature records204

For the region, we have a total of 310 records from 74 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


2252 Large Ranunculus 05
© Martin Raper
2252 Large Ranunculus 04
© Gillian Nash, Sept 2015
2252 Large Ranunculus 03
© Gillian Nash, Sept 2015
2252 Large Ranunculus 02
© Jack Oughton
2252 Large Ranunculus 01
© Mike Hetherington, 27 Sep 2012

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A local species with an obscure ecology and confined to southern and eastern England where it occurs on disparate biotypes, the larva is polyphagous on herbaceous plants and deciduous shrubs. In Dorset, the moth occupies two rather different habitats, and in both it is at low density. The first is along the west Dorset coast, commencing at Weymouth and Portland (where it was once frequent), and thence westward to Lyme Regis. The second is river valley habitat, and these include the Rivers: Frome, Yeo, Stour, Iwerne, Crane and the Moors. The following observation within a few hundred metres of the River Crane and within the confines of herb-rich fen habitat is of interest: Edmonsham Fen, four final instar larvae eating flowers of jointed rush at midday on 3 July 2003 (P Davey).

Two moths were observed at times of immigrant activity, and a continental source seems likely for these two individuals: Durlston, at MV on 15 October 1977 (R Bretherton), Iford, at MV on 17 October 1997 (M Jeffes). The Large Ranunculus occurs in Iberia, France, Germany and Austria.

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species