Common Wave Geometridae

Cabera exanthemata (Scopoli, 1763)

Description: Wingspan 30-35mm.

Similar Species: Adults are similar in appearance to the Common White Wave C. pusaria' which can be difficult to separate if worn. The Common Wave is a more ochreous grey colour on the forewings. It has three cross-lines on the forewings, the outer being curved inwards towards the costa.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Early May right through to the beginning of September.

Status: Widely distributed throughout all counties, but more common in Down and Fermanagh. North of Lough Neagh its distribution is apparently more localised. Sites in the north include Curran Bog, the Umbra and Magilligan, Londonderry and Glenarriff, Ballylesson Bog and Maghralough, Antrim.

Ecology: A small species associated with damp woodland, fens and bogs where willows are common. Adults become active at dusk onwards and appear frequently at light but not abundantly. Like many other 'waves' it is easily disturbed during the day from the foliage of willows and other bushes. The larvae can be found from June to September feeding on willow Salix spp. It overwinters in the pupal stage.

World Distribution: Across Europe to Eastern Siberia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1956 Agassiz number: 70.278

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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