Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of grass moths (Pyralidae-Crambinae and Schoenobiinae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Agriphila Hübner

Adults. Face with a conical hairy prominence (this short), or without a conical hairy prominence. Proboscis functional.

Wingspan 20–29(–31) mm. The adults conspicuously sexually dimorphic to not very sexually dimorphic. The fringe glistening-metallic, or not glistening-metallic. Termen non-sinuate. Ground colour of the forewings ochreous, or brown, or grey. Forewings plain (sometimes, in A. latistria), or conspicuously patterned with contrasting colours. The patterning complex to simple; restricted to longitudinal streaking, or restricted to transverse markings, or comprising both longitudinal streaking and transverse markings. Forewings with a median line, or without a median line; transversely dark-lined towards the termen (A. geniculea, inconspicuously so in A. inquinatella), or not transversely dark-lined towards the termen; the subterminal lines when present, conspicuously white-edged, or not white-edged; with a strong white median streak, or without a strong white median streak; without conspicuous white marks at or near the apex. Forewing vein 7 arising from vein 8. Hindwings pale ochreous grey, or pale grey to dark grey; plain.

Distribution and habitats. Widespread (except the mainland-European A. poliellus, this being included in the British list on the basis of a single specimen taken at Deal, Kent in 1885). England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Occurring in coastal locations and inland. In wet places, mesophytic habitats, and dry places (A. selasella in marshy places including salt marshes and fens; A. geniculea in dry pastures and coastal sand-hills; A. inquinatella in grassy heaths, rough grassland and sandy places; A. latistria in inland heaths with a predilection for burnt patches, also in woodland rides and sandy districts including coastal sand-hills; and A. tristella and A. straminella (formerly Crambus culmellus) common almost throughout the British Isles wherever grass grows). British species: A. geniculea, A. inquinatella, A. latistria, A. geniculea, A. poliellus, A. selasella, A. straminella, A. tristella. Adults abroad July to September; not hibernating.

Larvae. Larvae feeding on monocots; Poaceae (Bromus, Festuca, Poa, Deschampsia).

Subfamily. Crambinae.

Illustrations. • Agriphila culmella, geniculea, A. inquinatella, A. latistria, A. selasella and A. tristella with species of Catoptria, Chrysocrambus, Chrysoteuchia, Crambus, Pediasia and Thisanotia: Leech, 1886. • Agriphila latistria and A. selasella: Barrett. • Agriphila tristella: Barrett. • Agriphila tristella: forewing venation, hindwing pecten, head. • Agriphila geniculea, A. inquinatella, A. straminella: Barrett. • A. deliella, A. immistella, A. inquinatella, A. selasella, A. straminella, A tristella: Hübner (1796–1813).

To view the illustrations with detailed captions, go to the interactive key. This also offers full and partial descriptions, diagnostic descriptions, differences and similarities between taxa, lists of taxa exhibiting or lacking specified attributes, and distributions of character states within any set of taxa.

Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of grass moths (Pyralidae-Crambinae and Schoenobiinae). Version: 8th June 2016.’.