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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Chilo Zincken

Adults. Face with a conical hairy prominence. Proboscis functional. Labial palps relatively very long.

Wingspan 24–32 mm (male), or 30–40 mm (female). The adults conspicuously sexually dimorphic. Forewings of the male rather broad, the costa basally arched, the apex acute and the termen scarcely convexly curved, scarcely sinuate termen not oblique; dark or light reddish brown, sometimes suffused fuscous, finely dark streaked along and between the veins, and sometimes with a darker longitudinal stripe from the base to the small black discal spot; the cilia glossy, reddish brown. In the female, longer and narrower, with the slightly sinuate termen very oblique and a narrowly pointed almost acuminate apex; pale ochreous, marked only with fine, inconspicuous longitudinal streaks and the small black discal dot, the glossy cilia also pale ochreous. The fringe not glistening-metallic. Forewing apices pointed; termen sinuate. Ground colour of the forewings pale ochreous, or ochreous and brown (especially in the male being more or less suffused brown). Forewings plain, or inconspicuously patterned. The patterning simple; comprising both longitudinal streaking and transverse markings, or consisting of dark dots. Forewings without a median line; not transversely dark-lined towards the termen; without a strong white median streak; without conspicuous white marks at or near the apex. Forewing vein 7 free. Hindwings white, or whitish, or ochreous whitish; plain; of the male pale brownish-white, only slightly darker towards termen and apex, with a very fine dark terminal line and pale brownish-white, metallic-glossy cilia. In the female pure white, including the glossy cilia.

Distribution and habitats. England and Wales (locally common in suitable habitats south of Durham). Occurring in coastal locations and inland. In wet places. British species: C. phragmitella. Adults abroad June and July.

Larvae. Larvae feeding on monocots; Poaceae (on Phragmites australis and Glyceria maxima, in culms and roots and pupating in the stem beneath an exit window prepared by the mature larva).

Subfamily. Crambinae.

Illustrations. • Chilo phragmitella, with Calamotropha, Haimbachia, Schoenobiinae and Pyraustinae: Leech, 1886. • Chilo phragmitella, with Calamotropha: Barrett. • C. phragmitella, with Calamotropha, Haimbachia, Platytes and Talis: Hübner (1797–1824). • Chilo phragmitella: forewing venation.

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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.’.