Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Adults diurnal; relatively medium-bodied to long-bodied (longer in females); heavily built (wingspan less than 8 times the thoracic width). The abdomen conspicuously patterned (distinctly banded in females), or plain (or less obviously so, in males). Adults wings in repose packed with the forewings directed backwards to cover hindwings and abdomen.

Antennae very short; extending to about 0.28–0.38 times the length of the forewing. Antennae of males bipectinate. Eyes glabrous. Ocelli absent. Chaetosemata absent. Maxillary palps much reduced, or absent. Labial palps well developed (rather short); 3 segmented. Proboscis absent.

Wingspan 55–92 mm; 8–10 times the thoracic width. Forewings broad; 1.9–2.1 times as long as wide. The outer and hind margins angled at about 110 degrees. The outer margin convexly curved; forewings apically fairly blunt. Hindwings broadly rounded; similar in breadth to the forewings; with a rounded apex; the upper surfaces conspicuously patterned above (less conspicuously so than the forewings); with a discal spot and with transverse lines (the first line lacking); without a frenulum.

Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 12 veined, or 13 veined; with 1 anal vein, or with 2 anal veins. The anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only, or comprising 1b and 1c. Forewings exhibiting a tubular vein 1c, or lacking a tubular vein 1c (contrast the Meyrick and Le Cerf and Herbulot drawings. Direct observations show one in a female, two in a male!). Vein 1b of the forewings furcate proximally, or obsoletely furcate (depending on the authority ..... )). Discal cell of the forewings without a tubular media (M) vein. Hindwings 8 veined, or 9 veined; with 2 anal veins (two in Meyrick’s diagram, one in that of Le Cerf and Herbulot. Direct observation show a strong 1a, and a weaker and shorter 1b). The anal veins of the hindwings comprising 1a and 1b. Hindwings exhibiting vein 1a; lacking a tubular vein 1c. 6 veins arising from the hindwing cell. The cell-derived hindwing veins 3+4 proximally joined and 6+7 proximally joined (these connate). Vein 8 of the hindwings joined to the cell only by a bar (near the base); not approximating to vein 7.

Tibiae of middle legs without spurs. Posterior tibiae 2-spurred (?); hairy.

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Eggs not flattened; smooth or minutely pitted. Larval prolegs 10. On Betula and Alnus.

Pupae concealed (in a cocoon); on the surface of the ground, or above the ground. Empty pupae not becoming protruded.

British representation. Genera 1; 1 species. Endromis versicolora (Kentish Glory).

Classification. Macromoths. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Bombycoidea.

Illustrations. • Endromidae, Saturniidae: Newman. • Endromis versicolora (Kentish Glory: B. Ent. 434). • Endromis versicolora (legend+text: B. Ent. 434). • Endromis versicolora (text, cont.: B. Ent. 434). • Larva: Endromis versicolora (Duponchel, 1849). • Endromis versicolora: neuration.

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 families of Lepidoptera. Version: 8th June 2016.’.