Small Yellow Wave Geometridae

Hydrelia flammeolaria (Hufnagel, 1767)

Description: Wingspan 20-22mm. A small, yellow species marked with ochreous brown cross-lines, which are variable in thickness, on both wings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: July

Status: Discovered for the first time in N. Ireland in 2000, when a single adult was taken at light in a suburban garden on the outskirts of Belfast. It has since been found at Mount Stewart, Down in 2001. Its current status here is unclear although some targeted fieldwork is underway to try and ascertain its distribution. It seems most likely that this species is an established resident, existing in small isolated populations and in low density in a few localities, which up until has escaped detection.

Ecology: A small, pretty moth found in damp woodland and hedgerows where its foodplant Alder Alnus glutinosa grows. It may be worth investigating areas along rivers and canals where its foodplant is common. Adults are attracted to light and can also be flushed from the foliage of Alder during the day. The larvae can be found during August and September. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Throughout Europe as far as Japan.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1876 Agassiz number: 70.114

Additional information:

UK Moths account


 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland