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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Cucullia Schrank

Argyritis Hübner, Callaenia Hübner, Eucalimia Hübner, Euderaea Hübner, Shargacucullia Ronkay and Ronkay.

Adults. Head rough. Eyes glabrous; ciliated. Antennae of males shortly ciliate.

Wingspan 37–60 mm. The head and thorax coloured like the forewings, often with dark crest and collar, the dark-crested abdomen similar to them or paler, but often darker than the hindwings. Forewings light to dark grey, fuscous, or straw-coloured and dark brown; neither green nor greenish tinged; neither purplish nor rosy marked or tinged; patterned transversely, or longitudinally streaked, or complexly patterned; the patterning well marked to obscure; neither shining-metallic nor with shining metallic effects; reniform defined, or undefined; orbicular defined, or undefined; claviform defined, or undefined. Hindwings whitish, or whitish-fuscous, or fuscous, or grey; plain, or terminally darkened; without a clear discal mark; transversely lined; exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings weak; arising nearer to vein 6 than to vein 4. Thorax crested (slightly posteriorly, sometimes also the collar). Posterior tibiae without spines. Abdomen crested.

Living adults found April and May, or June and July.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae posteriorly rounded, or posteriorly tapered; feeding on foliage, flowers and fruits of Compositae and Scrophulariaceae; pupating on the surface of the ground.

British representation. 12 species (5 adventive); South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; absinthii (Wormwood Shark), argentea*, artemisiae* (Scarce Wormwood Shark), asteris (Star-wort Shark), chamomillae (Chamomile Shark), gnaphalii (Cudweed Shark), lactucae* (Lettuce Shark), lychnitis (Striped Lychnis Shark), prenanthis*, scrophulariae* (Water Betony Shark), umbratica (The Shark), verbasci (Mullein Shark).


Illustrations. • 8 British Shark species, with Xylena and Xylocampa: Newman. • Cuculliinae: Cucullia asteris (Star-wort Shark: B. Ent. 45). • Cucullia asteris: B. Ent. 45, legend. • Cuculliinae and Plusiinae: Kirby. • Larvae of C. scrophulariae, C. lychnitis, C. umbratica: Duponchel and Guénée (1849).

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.’.