Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Implicit attributes

Unless indicated otherwise, the following attributes are implicit throughout the descriptions, except where the characters concerned are inapplicable.

The abdomen plain. Adults with fully developed wings; not of hymenopterous appearance; not raising the hind-legs in repose.

Antennae not clubbed. Eyes neither notched nor emarginate, and clearly separated from the bases of the antennal sockets. Mandibles not developed. Maxillary palps not folded. Labial palps well developed.

Wings entire; not aculeate. Tornus clearly defined. Forewings neither shining-metallic nor with shining metallic markings; without eye-spots above; not eye-spotted underneath near the tip; without a jugum. Hindwings neither unusually narrow-elongate nor especially long-fringed; not tailed; not silver-marked underneath.

Forewings with well developed neuration; with a discal cell; without an accessory cell. Hindwings with well developed neuration; with a discal cell; without a praecostal spur. The hindwing cell without a cubital pecten of hairs; emitting no more than six veins.

Adults having all 6 legs fully developed and operational for walking. Fore-legs of female operational for walking.

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Larvae not densely long-hairy; without urticating hairs; without tentacles on segment 2; without bristly spines; not case-bearing; exposed feeders; not feeding in communal tents; not subterranean; not leaf-mining; not wood- or stem- boring.

Pupae smooth and rounded; plain; without shining-metallic spots; concealed.


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. delta-intkey.com’.

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