Prays oleae
Prays oleae
Adult • Addlestone, Surrey. Reared from mine in Oleae • © Andrew Mitchell

22.004 BF449c

Prays oleae

(Bernard, 1788)

Wingspan c. 11-13mm.

This Mediterranean species was first noted in Britain in January 2009 when mines and a pupa were found on an olive tree in a garden centre in Surrey by Andy Mitchell. The mines and pupa were collected and subsequently moths reared through which proved to be this species and the first record for Britain.

Later, one was identified from a light trap in Kent in July 2009, where an imported olive tree was also in the vicinity.

The species is a pest of olive (Oleae europea in its native Mediterranean region and has clearly been introduced here with imported trees. There is some doubt whether it will become established due to the cold British climate, but undoubtedly further records will follow.
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