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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Catoptria Hübner

Adults. Face without a conical hairy prominence. Proboscis functional.

Wingspan 19–26(–34) mm. The fringe not glistening-metallic. The fringe conspicuously chequered, or somewhat chequered (opposite the median stripe), or not chequered. Termen non-sinuate. Ground colour of the forewings ochreous, or brown, or grey. Forewings conspicuously patterned with contrasting colours. The patterning complex, or simple; restricted to longitudinal streaking, or comprising both longitudinal streaking and transverse markings. Forewings without a median line; transversely dark-lined towards the termen (C. verellus), or not transversely dark-lined towards the termen; the subterminal lines in C. verellus, conspicuously white-edged; with a strong white median streak (usually), or without a strong white median streak (e.g., C. verellus); the median streak interrupted by a cross-bar (C. permutatella, C. pinella), or without a cross-bar; with a conspicuous white apical mark (C. falsella and C. verellus), or without conspicuous white marks at or near the apex; without a scattering of large black scales. Forewing vein 7 arising from vein 8. Hindwings pale grey, or dark grey; plain.

Distribution and habitats. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Occurring in coastal locations and inland. In wet places, mesophytic habitats, and dry places (e.g., C. pinella widely distributed in marshy localities, C. margaritella widespread in bogs, wet heaths and damp places in open woodland, C. furcatella confined to grassy places at high elevations in Scotland, North Wales and the Lake District, C. falsella associated with mosses on walls). British species: C. falsella, C. furcatellus, C. lythargyrella, C. margaritella, C. osthelderi, C. permutatella, C. pinella, C. speculalis, C. verellus. Adults abroad July, or July and August.

Larvae. Larvae feeding on mosses (C. falsella and C. verella), or monocots; Poaceae (C. furcatella), or Poaceae and Cyperaceae (C. pinella).

Subfamily. Crambinae.

Illustrations. • Catoptria (Crambus) furcatellus (Northern Grass-veneer: B. Ent. 109). • Catoptria (Crambus) furcatellus (legend+text: B. Ent. 109). • Catoptria falsella, C. furcatellus and C. verellus, with species of Crambus and Platytes: Leech, 1886. • Catoptria permutatella and P. pinella, with species of Agriphila, Chrysocrambus, Chrysoteuchia, Crambus, Pediasia and Thisanotia: Leech, 1886. • Catoptria margaritella (specimen): photo. • Catoptria margaritella: Stephens IV, 1843. • Catoptria pinella (specimens): photo. • Catoptria furcatellus, C. margaritella, C. permutatella, C. pinella: Barrett. • Catoptria falsella and C. verellus: Barrett. • C. falsella and C. verellus: forewing patterns. • Hübner’s illustrations of 7 Catoptria species (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. delta-intkey.com’.

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