Mullein Wave Geometridae

Scopula marginepunctata (Goeze, 1781)

Description: Wingspan 25-28mm. The colour and the heavily freckled markings on the wings of the adult moth can be quite variable among individuals. Adults are mainly greyish white with a pale, creamish fringe on all of the wings.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Double-brooded in southern Britain in June and July and again in August and September but single-brooded in the northern part of range (Skinner 1998). N. Ireland records have all been in July where known.

Status: Rare and confined to the coast of Down. Recorded from an old gravel pit at Cranfield, near Kilkeel in 1999. This was the first confirmed record since 1944, when it was taken in the Helen's Bay area in north Down. It has been reported inland at Hillsborough but this must be regarded as doubtful. There are other early 20th century records for the Kilkeel area. It may exist more widely, especially in other areas along the south Down coastline. More common further south in Ireland on the coast between Dublin and Waterford.

Ecology: A small pretty species that generally favours coastal habitats in Ireland. The larvae can be found from September until May on a variety of plants including mugwort Artemisia spp. and plantain Plantago spp. It overwinters as a larva.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1689 Agassiz number: 70.023

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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