Insects of Britain and Ireland: the genera of Lepidoptera-Geometridae

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Operophtera Hübner

Adults. Crepuscular and nocturnal; with fully developed wings, or flightless. The flightless females with rudimentary wings. Antennae of males simple; strongly fasciculate-ciliate. Face smooth.

Wingspan 27–37 mm. The outer margin of the forewing convexly curved. Forewings light brown sprinkled fuscous, or pale greyish-ochreous, with obscure dark striae; without a clear discal mark; with a distinct median band to without a median band (sometimes with a darker but fairly obscure band). Hindwings plain; whitish to pale fuscous; without a clear discal mark; transversely lined to without transverse lines (usually with faint dark lines).

Vein 10 of the forewings arising independently of 9; arising out of 11 and anastomosing with 9 to form a simple areole. Hindwings exhibiting a tubular vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings arising from about the middle of the transverse vein, or arising from below the middle of the transverse vein. Vein 8 of the hindwings approximated to or anastomosed with the upper margin of the cell to the middle or beyond (beyond it).

Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred.

Early stages. Larvae feeding on foliage of Quercus, Crataegus, Betula, etc., and rosaceous fruit trees (O. brumata being notoriously destructive).

British representation. 1 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Living adults found October to December, or January. O. brummata (Winter Moth), O. fagata (Northern Winter Moth).

Subfamily. Larentiinae.

Illustrations. • O. brumata (Winter Moth) and O. fagata (Northern Winter Moth), with Epirrita, and Perizoma: Newman 1869. • O. brumata and O. fagata, with other Larentiinae: Kirby 49.


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 Lepidoptera-Geometridae. Version: 8th June 2016. delta-intkey.com’.

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