The Moths of Suffolk
1688 Tawny Wave, Scopula rubiginata, (Hufnagel, 1767)

National Status : RDB

Local Status : Resident and immigrant (SMP Status 3)

Distribution and abundance : Mainly found in the Brecks and coastal areas, frequently recorded at light in Ipswich

Habitats : Heathland and grassland, scrub, vegetated shingle

Flight Period : Double-brooded; mid-June to mid-July and mid-August to early September

Larval foodplants : Unknown in the wild

Morley's Final Catalogue : Sussex, Surrey, Essex, Norfolk and possibly Yorks only, but nowhere so common as in Suffolk. With us the species seems, like Spotted Sulphur above, confined to ancient estuaries, though of recent years it has spread considerably along our coast also. One at light in Ipswich during 1901 (Pyett) ; one sitting on ragwort flower just before dusk at Martlesham on 5 August 1926 (Mly); Hemley in 1901 and Thorpness in 1934 (Wlr). Plentiful in a sandy patch near Orford in August 1933 (Trans. ii, 291) ; on sandhills to north of Aldeburgh on 9 July 1892 (Ctw: not in Hele) and near Aldeburgh in 1934 (Trans.ii, 295) ; Leiston before 1890 (Hon. B. de Grey) ; at light in Southwold on 25 July 1900 (Mly). It is in much greater profusion in the Breck where Wratislaw, who there discovered it, states "above sixty were taken in Suffolk during 1868 " (Suff. Inst. 41y jour. 1869, 23; Proc. iv, 1870, 218); abundant at Tuddenham in August 1884 (Meek, Ent. xvii, 278; EMM. 1909, 90); but extending to Brandon, Thetford, Barnham heath (Sparke), Eriswell in 1936 (Gd), Worlington, Icklingham (Trans. ii, p.clxxxiv) and surrounding vicinity.

Wingspan details : Forewing 9-11mm, Wingspan 20-23mm


Confusion species
    AdultBright Wave, Idaea ochrata
Purple-bordered Gold, Idaea muricata

Compare confusion species

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Tunstall, Suffolk (vi.2003) © N Sherman

Flight chart
100 30 46 5

Life history chart
larval diapause larval diapause larval diapause larva larvapupa pupaimago ovalarvaimago larvapupaimago larvaimago larval diapause larval diapause larval diapause

Further Photographs

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Lakenheath (31.v.2004) © L Gregory
Ramparts Field, Suffolk (10.viii.2005) © Lee Gregory
Ipswich, Suffolk (vi.2007) © Neil Sherman