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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Ourapteryx Leach

Adults. Crepuscular and nocturnal; relatively stout-bodied to slender-bodied. Antennae of males simple; shortly and evenly simply-ciliate.

Wingspan 50–62 mm. The outer margin of the forewing sigmoid-curved. Forewings pale yellow, thinly strigulated with pale grey, with yellow-grey first and second lines and a yellow-grey, linear discal mark; with a clear discal mark (this yellow-grey, linear). Forewings of the male without a fovea. The outer margin of the hindwings tailed. Hindwings conspicuously patterned (via the clear median transverse line, plus a red, black-edged subterminal spot above the tail, and a black one below it); the same colour as the forewings; without a clear discal mark; transversely lined (with a single, darkish median line).

Hindwings lacking a tubular vein 5. Vein 8 of the hindwings approximated to or anastomosed with the upper margin of the cell to the middle or beyond. Hindwing veins 6 and 7 separate.

Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred.

Early stages. Larvae feeding on Sambucus, Crataegus, etc.

British representation. 1 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Living adults found in July. O. sambucaria (Swallow-tailed Moth).

Subfamily. Ennominae.

Illustrations. • Larentiinae: Ourapteryx sambucaria (Swallow-tailed Moth: B. Ent. 508). • Ourapteryx sambucaria: B. Ent. 508, legend+text. • Ourapteryx sambucaria: B. Ent. 508, text cont.. • Alcis, Biston, Cleora, Cleorodes, Deileptenia, Fagivorina, Menophra, Ourapteryx, Peribatodes, Selidosema: Newman. • Ennominae (‘Thorns’, etc.): Kirby 46.


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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