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

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Photedes Lederer

Chortodes Tutt, Petilampa Aurivillius, Phothedes; with Bradley (2002) presenting captiuncula and minima as Photedes s. str., and referring the rest to Chortodes.

Adults. Head rough. Head without a projecting, horny frontal plate. Eyes glabrous; not ciliated. Antennae of males ciliate. Tongue well developed.

Wingspan 20–38 mm. Thorax and abdomen coloured like the forewings, or the abdomen like the hindwings. Forewings whitish, buff, or light reddish brown; whitish, or pale ochreous, or ochreous, or reddish brown; neither green nor greenish tinged; neither purplish nor rosy marked or tinged; plain, or patterned transversely, or longitudinally streaked (variously plain, or with only a few dots, a dotted transverse line, a basal streak, or a dark central band); the patterning well marked to obscure; reniform defined, or undefined; orbicular defined, or undefined; claviform undefined. Hindwings fuscous, or whitish and ochreous, or whitish and brownish, or grey; plain (mostly), or terminally darkened; without a clear discal mark; transversely lined, or without transverse lines (mostly); exhibiting vein 5. Vein 5 of the hindwings weak; arising nearer to vein 6 than to vein 4. The males with anterior tarsi; not fan-footed. Middle tibiae without spines. Posterior tibiae without spines; rough-scaled. Abdomen not crested.

Living adults found June and July, or July and August.

Larvae, pupae. Larvae feeding on Gramineae and Cyperaceae, within the culms; pupating on vegetative parts of the foodplant (P. elymi), or in the soil.

British representation. 8 species; South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland; brevilinea (Fenn’s Wainscot), captiuncula (Least Minor), elymi (Lyme Grass Wainscot), extrema (The Concolorous), fluxa (Mere Wainscot), minima (Small Dotted Buff), morrisii (Morris’s Wainscot), pygmina (Small Wainscot).


Illustrations. • The British species of Photedes, with 6 related genera. • Amphipyrinae (Photedes, Stilbia, Apamea, Spodoptera): 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.’.