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Plain Wave
Idaea straminata (Borkhausen, 1794)
Geometridae: Sterrhinae
1715 / 70.018
Photo © John William Cooper,  Pontefract

Similar Yorkshire Species
Riband Wave
Idaea aversata
Forewing: 13-15mm
Flight: June - August
Foodplant:   Unknown.
Red List: Least Concern (LC)
GB Status: Common
Former Status: Local
Verification Grade:  Adult: 3

Yorkshire Status: Scarce and thinly distributed or restricted resident.

This species causes a lot of confusion as it closely resemble the plain form of Riband Wave. The diagnostic feature is meant to be the characteristic kink in the sub-terminal line in Riband Wave which is straighter in Plain Wave. This however can at times be confusing, especially in worn individiuals. Plain Wave is usually a little smaller, has a more silky appearance and is less-boldly marked. One feature not mentioned in the books is that Riband Wave has alternate dashes and dots along the edge of the wing whilst Plain Wave has just dashes, though these may disappear in worn specimens. Records from inexperienced observers should be accompanied by a photograph. When we ask for one, it often turns out to be Riband Wave! A good rule of thumb is that if in doubt, it is likely to be Riband Wave. This is not a common moth across the county and we cannot guarantee that the distribution map does not include the odd "rogue" Riband Wave which has crept in. It is usually seen in very low numbers however at some heathland sites it can be much commoner - there have been several catches well into double figures at Strensall Common.

Sutton & Beaumont, 1989: Much less commonly recorded than the last species and not reported from the north and west of the County. It may be that confusion with the plain form of I. aversata (Linnaeus) causes under-recording.

Retained Specimen / Photograph will be Required.

Recorded in 88 (44%) of 200 10k Squares.
First Recorded in 1883.
Last Recorded in 2023.
Additional Stats

Latest 5 Records
Date#VC10k Area
19/07/2023164SE33 - Leeds
17/07/2023162NZ80 - Goathland / Grosmont
16/07/2023262SE66 - Strensall
07/07/2023164SE14 - Ilkley / Menston / B in W
07/07/2023163SE31 -  Wakefield (S)
Further info: Idaea straminata
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