Lesser Cream Wave Geometridae

Scopula immutata (Linnaeus, 1758)

Description: Wingspan 24-27mm. Adults are a pale, greyish colour with a silky sheen on the wings. There are a series of ochreous medial lines across all wings with a distinctive fringe and small black discal spot - this may appear to be absent in some specimens which are slightly worn when found, making their identification difficult.

Similar Species: Distinguished from the closely related Cream Wave S. floslactata by its more rounded forewings and black discal spot.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Mid June to early August.

Status: Local, recorded mainly from Brackagh Moss, north Armagh; Montiaghs Moss, Antrim and several sites in south Down, notably Derryleckagh Wood and Lackan Bog. The moth is probably more widespread than records suggest and the recent spate of records is because it has been overlooked rather than a genuine increase in range.

Ecology: This species favours bogs, fens and marshy localities. The larvae can be found from September until May on wetland herbs such as Meadowsweet Filipendula ulmaria and Common Valerian Valeriana officinalis usually at night. Adults appear sparingly at light and their condition when captured is often poor, making it difficult to confirm their identification. Adults can occasionally be disturbed from the vegetation during the day. It overwinters as a pupa.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1692 Agassiz number: 70.025

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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