Scopula (Scopula) rubiginata
- Subfamily: Sterrhinae, Scopulini
- Wingspan: 16-22 mm
- Flight period: May - Sep
- Spread: Common
- Host plants: Polyphagous
The Scopula rubiginata also called Tawny Wave is a moth of the Geometridae family, subfamily Sterrhinae, with a wingspan of 16-22 mm.
It is present throughout Europe with the exception of Ireland, Norway and Northern Russia. *
In Italy it is also present in Sicily. *
Its range extends to Morocco and is also found in the Atlas Mountains. In addition, it is also present in northern Turkey, the Caucasus and the Crimea. To the east, its range extends through southern Siberia, and to the mountains of northern central Asia as far as Mongolia.
The background color of Scopula rubiginata shows a rather high variability in color and in the basic designs. The base color depends on the humidity. In fact, the wings can be brown, pale brown, purple-reddish, greyish or straw yellow, with darker brown or darker reddish marks, transverse and slightly wavy markings on the upper sides. The internal transverse line is missing on the hind wings. Similar markings are present on the undersides. The apex of the front wings is rounded.
The posterior margin is uniform, almost round. The fringes are lighter than the base color.
The species is quite similar to Idaea ochrata , but the latter species shows a marked posterior margin.
The head, thorax and abdomen have a slightly lighter background color of the wings.
These moths preferably inhabit sandy soils, (sand dunes), dry warm environment, grasslands and heaths, up to an altitude of up to about 1,000 meters above sea level. Moths fly from one to three generations (in overlapping generations) depending on latitude. They are active day and night, but especially from sunset onwards. At night, they can be attracted to artificial light. The adults of Scopula rubiginata have been observed on the flowers of the following plants: Scrophularia canina, Rhinanthus minor, Reseda lutea, Senecio erucifolius, Thymus pulegioides, Medicago sativa and Daucus carota.
The eggs are approximately ovoid. The surface is covered with 16 distinct longitudinal ribs. The caterpillars are relatively thin and somewhat thicker towards the rear. The color is variable, yellowish, brownish, slightly reddish and even gray. The ventral side is greenish. The back shows a relatively thin line, but darker than the base color. The model is relatively small, rounded and slightly reddish. **
The pupa is greenish brown in color. **
The larva is polyphagous and feeds on various herbaceous plants, including Polygonum, Thymus glabrescens, Calluna vulgaris, Artemisia campestris, Rumex acetosella, Thymus serpyllum, Medicago lupulina, Vicia, Lotus, Trifolium, Cytisus scoparius, Thalictrum, Galium, Taraxacum officinale and Convolvulus arvensis. etc. . ***
* Lepidoptera mundi https://lepidoptera.eu/ - Fauna Europea https://fauna-eu.org/
** Bestimmungshilfe für die in Europa nachgewiesenen Schmetterlingsarten - http://lepiforum.de/
*** Roland Robineau, Guide de papillons nocturne de France, Delachaux et Niestlé, 2011 p.43.