Species Account

Select species and region:



Summary Data

Season (Adult / Immature):

National Status: Common

Local Status: Fairly common and widespread resident.

Local Record: Grade 2   See here for explanation

Flight time: One generation, May-Jul.

Forewing: 9-11mm.

Foodplant: Field Maple, Sycamore and Alder.

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 recorded1905200719831905
Year last recorded2011200720112011
Number of records5711931330
Number of individuals77211361818
Unique positions181113390
Unique locations136111296
Adult records5081921202
Immature records0000

For the region, we have a total of 1330 records from 296 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1905.


1876 Small Yellow Wave 03
© Paul Harris
1876 Small Yellow Wave 02
© Tom Morris
1876 Small Yellow Wave 01
© Terry Box, 28 Jun 2005

Species Account

For further information refer UK Moths.

Davey, P., 2009: A common species in southern Britain, the larva feeding on maple (Acer spp.), but more local further north where the larva feeds on alder (Alnus spp.). In Dorset, the moth is associated with deciduous woodland on chalky soil and here it is usually frequent. However, it is locally common in damp deciduous woodland on acid and clay soils, for example at Oakers Wood, Holt Forest, Trigon Ford and Arne Wood. In this biotype maple is largely absent, and alder or birch (Betula spp.) may host larvae at these sites. The moth has also also been recorded from coastal locations where there are few deciduous trees: St Alban's Head, Portland Bird Observatory and West Bexington.

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