Small White Wave Geometridae

Asthena albulata (Hufnagel, 1767)

Description: Wingspan 20-22mm. A small white moth, silky in appearance with fine brown cross-lines across all wings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: From mid-May to the end of June.

Status: A scarce Hazel-feeding species confined in recent times to a few woodlands in Down. It was initially reported in Down from Derryleckagh and Bohill NNR in the early 1990s but was not seen again until 1999, when it was taken from the same localities by day. These two sites seem to support small but stable populations. Other records from Down include Rostrevor and Crawfordsburn. In Londonderry it was found at Bellaghy in the mid-1970s, but this site has been destroyed. Not recorded from Fermanagh yet, which seems surprising in view of its preference for Hazel. Adults are seldom seen at light which may account for its absence at some western localities where Hazel is common.

Ecology: A small richly-marked species that is associated in N. Ireland with Hazel Corylus avellana woodland. Since adults seldom come to light, beating Hazel branches seems the most appropriate and productive method for obtaining adults. The larvae can be found in July and August on Hazel and birch Betula spp. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe to western Asia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1875 Agassiz number: 70.111

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=5966

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