A Common Wave

If you are going to see any moth this month (July), it is likely to be the Riband Wave (Idaea aversata), in the Geometridae family. The species is found throughout the British Isles, including a few migrants to the Scottish islands, with the species feeding on common garden weeds, such as Docks (Rumex spp.), Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale agg.) and bedstraws (Galium spp.) See image 1.

Therefore, it can be found in any habitat that contains the food plant. There is usually just one generation and the larvae overwinter before pupating. It readily comes to light and was found in the Rothamsted trap at Whitenights, from 1976-1977. If possible I will be carrying out some moth trapping on the Campus to update the species lists and provide some more interesting blogs.

The species is quite easy to identify, the typical form has a thick dark brown-grey band across the centre of both wings, covering about 1/3rd of their area, against a cream to light orange brown speckled background, see image 2. The atypical form, has three thin brown-black bands across such a background, see image 3.

Sites you may wish to visit are:




We thank photographers: svdmolen and James K. Lindsey for permission to use their images.  Individual credits are given with each image.

About Justin Anthony Groves

As a student of Ecology and Conservation at Reading University i am very interested many other insect groups, botany and the interaction in nature. Over a number of blogs I hope to pass my knowledge to others but also gain from the many other interesting posts.
This entry was posted in Animals, Insects, Lepidoptera, Moths. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.