Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz



Adults mainly diurnal; relatively medium-bodied to long-bodied; medium built (wingspan more than 8 and less than 15 times the thoracic width); wings in repose packed with the forewings directed backwards to cover hindwings and abdomen.

Antennae of medium length; extending to about 0.5–0.75 times the length of the forewing. Antennae of males simple; long fasciculate-ciliate. The antennal scape without a pecten. Ocelli present (prominent). Chaetosemata present (rarely), or absent. Maxillary palps well developed, or much reduced (very small); 1 segmented. Labial palps ascending; 3 segmented. Proboscis fully developed; scaly towards the base.

Wingspan 10–12 mm; 10–11 times the thoracic width. Forewings narrow to broad; about 2.7 times as long as wide; the outer margin convexly curved; apically blunt; exhibiting shining-metallic markings. Hindwings ovate; similar in breadth to the forewings; with a rounded apex. The fringe of the hindwings about 0.5 times the width of the membrane. The upper surfaces conspicuously patterned above (then dark with white marks), or plain; with transverse lines (white sub-terminal lines or spots), or with neither discal spot nor transverse lines; hindwings with a frenulum.

Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 13 veined; with 2 anal veins. The anal veins of the forewings comprising 1b and 1c. Forewings exhibiting a tubular vein 1c (?). Vein 1b of the forewings furcate proximally. The transverse vein complete. Hindwings with well developed neuration; 10 veined; with 3 anal veins. The anal veins of the hindwings comprising 1a, 1b and 1c. Hindwings exhibiting a tubular vein 1c; with a discal cell. The transverse vein complete. 6 veins arising from the hindwing cell. The cell-derived hindwing veins 3+4 proximally joined (connate or stalked). Vein 8 of the hindwings completely independent of the cell; not approximating to vein 7.

Fore-legs with a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae 4-spurred; not hairy.

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Eggs not flattened (?); smooth or minutely pitted. Larval prolegs 10. Larvae concealed feeders (in spun leaves or seeds). On herbaceous Dicots.

Pupae concealed; above the ground. Empty pupae protruded from place of concealment.

British representation. Genera 4; 6 species. Choreutis pariana (Apple Leaf Skeletonizer), Prochoreutis myllerana (Miller's Nettle-tap), etc.

Classification. Microlepidoptera. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Choreutoidea.

Illustrations. • Prochoreutis myllerana (Miller's Nettle-tap: B. Ent. 320). • Prochoreutis myllerana (detail, dissections: B. Ent. 320). • Prochoreutis myllerana: B. Ent. 320, legend+text. • Prochoreutis myllerana: B. Ent. 320, text cont.. • Choreutis pariana, C. nemorana (Hübner), Anthophila fabriciana, A. urticana (Hübner): Hübner 1796–1833.

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Cite this publication as: ‘Watson, L., and Dallwitz, M.J. 2003 onwards. Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera. Version: 8th June 2016.’.