Insects of Britain and Ireland: the families of Lepidoptera

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Including Galleriadae, Galleriidae, Phycitidae, Pyraustidae, excluding Crambidae.

Adults diurnal, or crepuscular, or nocturnal; relatively medium-bodied to long-bodied (but mostly long); relatively slender-bodied (wingspan more than 15 times the thoracic width) to medium built (wingspan more than 8 and less than 15 times the thoracic width). The abdomen conspicuously patterned (rarely, e.g. E. hortulata with black-and-yellow banding), or plain. Adults wings in repose spread flat with their lower surfaces more or less appressed to the substrate.

Antennae of medium length to long; extending to about 0.6–0.9 times the length of the forewing. Antennae of males finely bipectinate, or dentate, or simple; non-ciliate (rather rarely), or simply-ciliate (often only minutely), or fasciculate-ciliate. Ocelli present, or absent. Chaetosemata present, or absent. Maxillary palps well developed; 2–3 segmented (rarely), or 4 segmented; not folded. Labial palps porrect, or ascending; 3 segmented. Proboscis fully developed, or absent (e.g., Anerastiinae); when developed, scaly towards the base.

Wingspan 13–40 mm; (8.5–)10–19 times the thoracic width. Wings entire. Forewings narrow to broad; (1.9–)2–3.2 times as long as wide. Tornus clearly defined. The outer and hind margins angled at (90–)110–140 degrees. The outer margin convexly curved (mostly), or more or less straight, or concavely curved (rarely); forewings apically blunt to pointed. Hindwings ovate-lanceolate to broadly rounded (occasionally sinuate); similar in breadth to the forewings; with a rounded apex; the upper surfaces conspicuously patterned above (sometimes brightly and very conspicuously so), or plain; with a discal spot and with transverse lines, or with neither discal spot nor transverse lines (the discal spot and/or lines often more or less ‘obsolete’); with a frenulum.

Neuration of forewings and hindwings dissimilar. Forewings 10–12 veined, or 13 veined (veins 7 or 7 and 9 absent in Phycitinae, 10 in some Galleriinae); with 1 anal vein, or with 2 anal veins, or with 3 anal veins (and often with one or more vestiges in addition to the tubular veins). The anal veins of the forewings representing 1b only, or comprising 1b and 1c, or comprising 1a and 1b, or comprising 1a, 1b and 1c (e.g., Achroia). Forewings exhibiting a tubular vein 1c (e.g., this complete distally in Achroia and Oncocera), or lacking a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the forewings furcate proximally to simple. Forewings with a discal cell, or without a discal cell (e.g., Achroia). The transverse vein complete to vestigial only (lacking between veins 5 and 7 or 8 in Schoenobius). Discal cell of the forewings without a tubular media (M) vein. Hindwings 9 veined, or 10 veined; with 3 anal veins. The anal veins of the hindwings comprising 1a, 1b and 1c. Hindwings exhibiting vein 1a; exhibiting a tubular vein 1c. Vein 1b of the hindwings simple. Hindwings with a discal cell, or without a discal cell (e.g., in Galleriinae). The transverse vein variously complete to incomplete, or lacking (lacking altogether in Galleriinae). The hindwing cell bearing a pecten of hairs on its cubital margin (towards its base: Galleriinae, Anerastiinae, Phycitinae), or without a cubital pecten of hairs (Pyrasustinae, Pyralinae, Schoenobiinae, Endotrichinae); emitting more than six veins, or emitting no more than six veins. 4 veins arising from the hindwing cell, or 6 veins arising from the hindwing cell, or 7 veins arising from the hindwing cell (5 present or absent). The cell-derived hindwing veins 3+4 proximally joined, or 4+5 proximally joined, or 6+7 proximally joined, or 7+8 proximally joined (in various combinations). Vein 8 of the hindwings completely independent of the cell (approximating to it only); approximating to vein 7 beyond the cell (or anastomosing), or not approximating to vein 7 (or vein 7 absent).

Fore-legs with a tibial epiphysis. Tibiae of middle legs 2-spurred. Posterior tibiae 4-spurred.

Tympanal organs present; abdominal.

Eggs, larvae and pupae. Eggs not flattened; smooth or minutely pitted to ribbed and/or reticulate. Larval prolegs 10. Larvae exposed feeders, or concealed feeders (often on dry or decaying plant material); feeding in communal tents, or not feeding in communal tents. Some (Galleriinae) feeding on wax and detritus in nests of bees and wasps; many on seeds, dried plant and animal material, refuse, etc., others on or in diverse living plants.

Pupae concealed; above the ground. Empty pupae not becoming protruded.

British representation. Genera about 85 (12 adventive only); about 160 species. E.g., Acentria ephemerella (False-caddis, Water-veneer), Aglossa pinguinalis (Large Tabby), Cynaeda dentalis (Starry Brindle, Starry Brindled Pearl), Dolicharthria punctalis (Long-legged China-mark), Parapoynx stratiotata (Ringed China-mark), Pyralis pictalis (Painted Meal Moth), Pyrausta cingulata (Silver-barred Sable)).

Classification. Microlepidoptera. Suborder Ditrysia. Superfamily Pyraloidea.

Illustrations. • Endotrichea (Pyralinae), with Anania, Eurrhypara, Pyrausta and Udea (Pyraustinae): Leech, 1886. • Odontiinae, Pyralinae and Pyraustinae, with Hypeninae: Leech, 1886. • Pyraustinae (Algedonia, Ebulea, Mecyna, Opsibotys, Ostrinia, Paratalanta, Pleuroptya): Leech, 1886. • Evergestis spp. (Evergestinae), with Anania, Loxostege, Palpita, Perinephela, Phlyctaenia, Psammotis, Sitochroa (Pyraustinae): Leech, 1886. • Pyraustinae (Antigastra, Diasemia, Diasemiopsis, Dolicharthria and Nascia, and Nymphulinae (Acentria, Cataclysta, Elophila, Nymphula and Paraponyx: Leech, 1886. • Galleriinae (Phycitodes binaevella and P. maritima), with Phycitinae (Cryptoblabes, Ephestia, Euzophera, Gymnacyla, Ortholepis and Plodia): Leech, 1886. • Phycitinae (Acrobasis, Conobathra, Dioryctria, Pempelia, Pempeliella, Phycita, Pyla, Trachycera): Leech, 1886. • Galleriinae (Achroia, Aphomia, Corcyra and Galleria), with Hyphochalcia (Phycitinae) and Hypena obsitalis (Noctuidae): Leech, 1886. • Scopariinae (Eudonia truncicolella and 6 Scoparia species): Leech, 1886. • Scopariinae (Dipleurina lacustrata and 9 species of Eudonia): Leech, 1886. • Donacaula forficella and Schoenobius gigantella, with mainland-European S. consortella and Scirpophaga praelatella: Hübner (1796). • Hubner’s Scopariinae: 1796–1833. • Hübner’s Nymphulinae (1796). • Hübner’s Evergestinae, 1797–1832. • Hübner’s Odontiinae, 1796–1823. • Glaphyriinae: Hellula undalis (Hübner, 1796). • Hübner’s Pyraustinae (1), 1796. • Hübner’s Pyraustinae (2), 1796. • Hübner’s Pyraustinae (3), 1796. • Hübner’s Pyraustinae (4), 1796. • Hübner’s Pyraustinae (5), 1796. • Hübner’s Pyraustinae (6), 1796–1819. • Hübner’s Pyraustinae (7), 1819–1833. • Hübner’s Pyralinae, 1796–1813. • Hübner’s Galleriinae, 1796–1803. • Hübner’s Phycitinae (1), 1796–1823. • Hübner’s Phycitinae (2), 1796–1836. • Hübner’s Phycitinae (3), 1796. • Endotricha flammealis (specimens): photo. • Eurrhypara hortulata (Small Magpie - specimens): photo. • Pyrausta aurata (specimens): photo. • Pyrausta purpuralis (specimens): photo. • Pyralis farinalis (Meal Moth - specimens): photo. • Assorted Pyraloidea: Kirby. • Acentria ephemerella (~Acentropus Curtis. False-caddis, Water-veneer: B. Ent. 497). • Acentria ephemerella (B. Ent. 497, legend+text). • Acentria ephemerellaa (B. Ent. 497, text cont.). • Aglossa pinguinalis (Mendip Tabby: B. Ent. 455). • Aglossa pinguinalis (legend+text: B. Ent. 455). • Aglossa pinguinalis (text. cont.: B. Ent. 455). • Galleria mellonella (Honeycomb Moth): B. Ent. 587. • Galleria mellonella: B. Ent. 587, legend+text. • Galleria mellonella: B. Ent. 587, text cont.. • Pyralis pictalis (Curtis): Painted Meal Tabby. B. Ent. 503. • Pyralis pictalis (B. Ent. 503, legend+text). • Pyralis pictalis (B. Ent. 503, text cont.). • Donacaula (Schoenobius) forficella (Lance-winged Veneer): B. Ent. 727. • Donacaula (Schoenobius) forficella: B. Ent. 727, legend+text. • Donacaula (Schoenobius) forficella: B. Ent. 727, text cont.. • Eudonea murana (Curtis): Scotch Gray, Wall Grey. B. Ent. 170. • Eudonea murana (B. Ent. 170, legend+text. • Eudonea murana (B. Ent. 170, text cont.. • Parapoynx stratiotata (Ringed China-mark: B. Ent. 495). • Parapoynx stratiotata: B. Ent. 495, legend+text. • Parapoynx stratiotata: B. Ent. 495, text cont.. • Nascia cilialis (Original generic decription. Orange-rayed Pearl: B. Ent. 559). • Nascia cilialis (B. Ent. 559, legend+text). • Nascia cilialis (B. Ent. 559, text cont.). • Cynaeda dentalis (Starry Brindle, Starry Brindled Pearl: B. Ent. 563). • Cynaeda dentalis: B. Ent. 563, legend+text. • Cynaeda dentalis: B. Ent. 563, text cont.. • Cynaeda dentalis: Stephens IV, 1834. • Pyrausta cingulata (Silver-barred Sable: B. Ent. 128). • Pyrausta cingulata: B. Ent. 128, legend+text. • Dolicharthria punctalis (Long-legged China-mark: B. Ent. 312). • Dolicharthria punctalis: B. Ent. 312, legend+text. • Dolicharthria punctalis: B. Ent. 312, text cont.. • Dolicharthria punctalis (detail: B. Ent. 312). • Dolicharthria punctalis (legend+text: B. Ent. 312). • Euzophera pinguis (Tabby Knot-horn: B. Ent. 233). • Euzophera pinguis: B. Ent. 233, legend+text. • Euzophera pinguis: B. Ent. 233, text cont.. • Pyralinae (4 genera). • Endotrichinae, Evergestiinae, Odontiinae. • Scopariinae (Eudonia, Scoparia). • Pyraustinae (several genera). • Oncocera semirubella (Phycitinae, specimens): photo. • Phycitinae: neuration (Ephestia elutella). • Pyralinae: neuration (Endotricha flammealis). • Galleriinae: Galleria mellonella. • neuration: Phycitinae, Galleriinae, Pyraustinae, Pyralinae.

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.’.