Yellowish white small tensioner

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Yellowish white small tensioner
Yellowish white small spanner (Scopula floslactata)

Yellowish white small spanner ( Scopula floslactata )

Order : Butterflies (Lepidoptera)
Family : Spanner (Geometridae)
Subfamily : Sterrhinae
Tribe : Scopulini
Genre : Scopula
Type : Yellowish white small tensioner
Scientific name
Scopula floslactata
( Haworth , 1809)

The Yellowish White Small Spanner ( scopula floslactata ) is a butterfly ( moth ) from the family of the tensioner (Geometridae).


The moths reach a wingspan of 22 to 30 millimeters; in Northern Europe they are usually smaller with a wingspan of 20 to 25 millimeters. The basic color and drawing are variable. The wings are creamy white to yellowish white. Three transverse lines, the outer one of which is jagged, usually extend over the fore and hind wings. This is usually always the strongest. Occasionally the wavy line is also clearly visible. The width of the transverse lines appears to be induced by moisture during pupal development. Higher temperatures during pupal development usually resulted in animals with fine drawings. There are also very rare specimens with almost no drawings. Hem stains are usually present, but in rare cases they can also be missing. The discal spots are small and often absent on the forewings or are very blurred. In contrast, the discal spots are almost always present on the hind wings. The fringes are sometimes also slightly darker than the base color.

The egg is oval with a flattened tip. It is initially light yellow in color and turns purple shortly before the egg caterpillars hatch. The top has 18 longitudinal ribs that intersect with 25 to 27 transverse ribs.

The caterpillar is relatively slender and gray or brownish to reddish brown. The back line is blackish and relatively thin. The head is small and flattened.

The doll is light brown and relatively slim. The clear constrictions between the segments are often more intensely colored.

Geographical distribution

The yellowish-white small spanner occurs from the Pyrenees, over parts of France and all of Central Europe, and east over the Urals to the Russian Far East ( Sakhalin Island ), northeast China, Japan and Korea. In the north the distribution area extends far to Scandinavia and Finland. The species is largely absent in southern Europe. There are isolated occurrences in southern Bulgaria and the Pyrenees.

In Scotland the nominate subspecies is represented by the subspecies Scopula floslactata scotica (Cockayne, 1951), which is on average somewhat smaller and has a dark over-dusting of the wings. The subspecies Scopula floslactata claudata (Prout, 1913) replaces the nominate subspecies in Japan. The specimens are mostly very poor in drawing and are covered in black dust. Often the central band is the most clearly developed transverse line.


The species occurs on the edges of forests, clearings, in heathland, on bog edges and in gardens and parklands. However, she generally avoids open landscapes. The main focus of the occurrence lies in light forests and valleys rich in bushes, bushy slopes or swampy forest meadows. It prefers moist to semi-moist locations and occurs from the lowlands up to about 1100 meters in the low mountain ranges, 1200 meters in the northern Alps and up to 1500 meters in the southern Alps.

Phenology and way of life

The species flies in one generation from May to June, at higher altitudes also until July. In the south of the distribution area, a second incomplete generation is possible under favorable conditions, which can be observed from July to August. The main activity of the moths is at dusk; the animals are attracted to the light.

The caterpillars feed, among others, woodruff ( Galium odoratum ), dandelion ( Taraxacum officinale ), blueberry ( Vaccinium myrtillus ), Red Honeysuckle ( Lonicera xylosteum ), black alder ( Alnus glutinosa ), skipjack bedstraw ( Galium verum ), Sorrel ( Rumex acetosa ) and fence vetch ( Vicia sepium ). Presumably they also eat dry leaves from poplars ( Populus ) and willows ( Salix ). The caterpillar overwinters, pupation takes place in spring in a web mixed with earth.


The species was first scientifically described in 1809 by Adrian Hardy Haworth as Phalaena floslactata . Hausmann lists seven older possible synonyms which, however, can no longer be identified ( nomina dubia ) and a long series of misspellings for this species. Other names are accepted at the subspecies level. In addition to the nominate subspecies, the subspecies Scopula floslactata claudata Prout, 1913 and Scopula floslactata scotica Cockayne, 1951 are currently accepted.


The species is not endangered anywhere in Germany. In Lower Saxony and Saarland, however, it is on the pre-warning list (category 5 and 4, respectively), as stocks are declining. In the city-state of Hamburg, however, the species is threatened with extinction, but has always been rare there.


Individual evidence

  1. Bergmann, p. 98
  2. Pasi Sihvonen: Check-list of Chinese Scopula Cabinet Species and an Analysis of Species Diversity (Lepidoptera: Geometridae: Sterrhinae). Journal of Asia-Pacific Entomology, 8 (1): 29-36, Suwon, Korea 2005 ISSN  1226-8615
  3. Scopula floslactata claudata Prout, 1913 (in Japanese, but pictures!)
  4. Ebert, p. 143
  5. Manfred Koch , Wolfgang Heinicke, Bernd Müller: We determine butterflies. Volume 4: Spanner. 2nd, improved and enlarged edition. Neumann, Leipzig / Radebeul 1976, DNB 780451570 .
  6. Red lists at science4you


  • Arno Bergmann: The large butterflies of Central Germany. Volume 5/1: Spanner. Distribution, forms and communities. Urania-Verlag, Jena 1955, DNB 450378403 .
  • Günter Ebert (Ed.): The butterflies of Baden-Württemberg Volume 8, Nachtfalter VI (Spanner (Geometridae) 1st part), Ulmer Verlag Stuttgart 2001. ISBN 3-8001-3497-7
  • Walter Forster , Theodor A. Wohlfahrt : The butterflies of Central Europe. Volume 5: Spanner. (Geometridae). Franckh'sche Verlagshandlung, Stuttgart 1981, ISBN 3-440-04951-5 .
  • Axel Hausmann: The Geometrid moths of Europe, 2nd Sterrhinae. In A. Hausmann (Ed.): The Geometrid Moths of Europe 2. Apollo Books, Stenstrup 2004, ISBN 87-88757-37-4

Web links

Commons : Yellowish-white miniature tensioner  - album with pictures, videos and audio files