Species of the Month: Currant Shoot Borer Lampronia capitella (April 2024)

The Currant Shoot Borer Lampronia capitella is a rare moth in the UK with only a handful of known sites. There is only one know Scottish site in the Scottish Borders near Peebles and it is entirely possible that more populations could be found in Scotland. This species has evaded conventional moth recordings techniques such as pheromone lures and light traps making them difficult to survey for. The best opportunity comes in the second and third week of April when the new shoots of the foodplants Gooseberry Ribes uva-crispa, Red Currant Ribes rubrum and Black Currant Ribes nigrum can be seen wilting. Look out for the caterpillar in these wilted shoots.

Butterfly Conservation is undertaking a Scottish survey to look for this species at new sites and have created a survey map which can be viewed on their website. The species seems to have a preference for Red Currant at its Peebles site and seems to favour riparian habitats. If you know any patches of their foodplants that are near a water course, it would well be worth checking for this elusive species.

If you find any signs or caterpillars please fill the recording form out on Butterfly Conservations website.

Malcolm Haddow

SWSEIC Support Officer

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