Species Account

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Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 1   See here for explanation

Flight time: Two generations, May-Jun, Jul-Aug.

Forewing: 15-17mm.

Foodplant: Downy and Silver Birch, Alder and Sallows.

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 recorded19552004200819831955
Year last recorded20112004200820112011
Number of records1925111404134
Number of individuals3302122007010
Unique positions2981123646
Unique locations2071117452
Adult records1784111383848
Immature records00000

For the region, we have a total of 4134 records from 452 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1955.


1955 Common White Wave 01
© Tom Morris

Species Account

Similar species: 1956 Cabera exanthemata (Common Wave).

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A common species in Britain, the larva feeding on birch (Betula spp.), sallow (Salix spp.), oak (Quercus spp.), alder (Alnus spp.) and other deciduous trees and shrubs. In Dorset, the moth is frequent in deciduous woodland and scrub. Singletons appear elsewhere from time to time. The national norm is of a double brood in southern England and a single brood in northern Britain. The relatively high numbers between the respective double brood peaks in early-June and mid-August suggest an additional univoltine cycle in July. The very few moths seen in October are likely to represent a partial second brood spawned by the univoltine brood.

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