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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Brachionycha Hübner

Asteroscopus Boisduval, Petasia Stephens.

Adults. Head rough. Eyes glabrous; ciliated. Antennae of males bipectinate (to the apex). Tongue poorly developed.

Wingspan 38–60 mm. Thorax patterned with dark lateral streaks in B. sphinx, plain brown in B. nubeculosa. Forewings brown; longitudinally streaked, or complexly patterned (dark-streaked only in B. sphinx, complexly patterned in B. nubeculosa); the patterning well marked; reniform defined, or undefined; orbicular undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings whitish, or fuscous, or grey; plain, or conspicuously patterned (darkly veined, with small fuscous spots along the margin); with 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. Posterior tibiae without spines. Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found March and April (B. nubeculosa), or March and April (B. sphinx).

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly humped; feeding on various woody Dicots; pupating in the soil.

British representation. 2 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, and Wales; B. nubeculosa (Rannoch Sprawler), B. sphinx (The Sprawler, = Asteroscopus).


Illustrations. • B. nubeculosa (Rannoch Sprawler) and B. sphinx (The Sprawler, with related genera: Newman. • B. nebulosa and B. sphinx, with other Cuculliinae: 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.’.