Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, late Apr-Jun and Jul-mid Aug.

Forewing: 9-11mm.

Foodplant: Hazel, Hornbeam, birches and wild roses.

IMPORTANT - Please note that the maps and accounts are provisional, subject to change and further update.  The whole dataset still needs to go through the final verification process and it is likely that a very small number of records will not satisfy the present requirements and there are other records that have not been formally submitted.  The information is for guidance only.

Record breakdown:

Year first recorded193520071935
Year last recorded201120072011
Number of records2502504
Number of individuals548161128
Unique positions1261254
Unique locations911184
Adult records2172438
Immature records000

For the region, we have a total of 504 records from 184 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1935.


Small White Wave 2
© Julian Francis
1875 Small White Wave 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A widespread species in Britain, the larva feeding on hazel (Corylus avellana), birch (Betula spp.) and hornbeam (Carpinus betulus). In Dorset, the moth is locally abundant in oak and ash woodland on chalky soils where hazel is the dominant understorey shrub. The moth is seldom encountered far from hazel-rich habitat, in fact the absence of records from areas where birch is dominant suggests that birch is not a potential foodplant for the species in the county. Occasional short to medium range dispersal is evidenced by an individual trapped at West Bexington on 26 June 1995 (R Eden) during a north-easterly airflow. The national norm is for a partial second brood, but in Dorset the moth appears to be double-brooded. The first brood is, on average, three times larger than the first.

See background to species accounts.  Index of Vernacular names - Search - Random Species