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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Amphipyra Ochsenheimer

Philopyra Guenée, Pyrophila Stephens.

Adults. Head rough. Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate. Tongue well developed. Labial palps medium to long; ascending.

Wingspan 32–40 mm, or 48–56 mm. Abdomen grey-brown. Forewings brown, or glossy grey-brown in A. tragopoginis ; light brown, or brown, or fuscous; neither green nor greenish tinged; neither purplish nor rosy marked or tinged; plain, or complexly patterned (plain in A. tragopoginis, conspicuously transversely 3-lined in A. pyramidea); the patterning when patterned, well marked; reniform defined (as a pair of dots, in tragopoginis), or undefined; orbicular defined; claviform undefined. Hindwings whitish, or whitish-fuscous, or fuscous, or coppery (in pyramidea); plain, or terminally darkened; without a clear discal mark; without transverse lines; exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings weak; arising nearer to vein 6 than to vein 4. Thorax not crested. Middle tibiae without spines. Posterior tibiae without spines; rough-scaled. Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found in August.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly humped, or posteriorly rounded; feeding on various Dicot trees and shrubs; pupating on the surface of the ground (A. pyramidea), or in the soil (A. tragopoginis, near the surface, with no cocoon).

British representation. 3 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; A. berbera svenssoni (Svensson’s Copper Underwing), A. pyramidea pyramidea (Copper Underwing), A. tragopoginis (The Mouse).


Illustrations. • A. pyramidea (Copper Underwing) and A. tragopoginis (The Mouse), with related genera: Newman. • Amphipyrinae: Kirby.

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-Noctuidae. Version: 8th June 2016.’.