British Insects: the Plume moths


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Agdistis Hübner

Adults. Face with a horny prominence. Labial palps ascending (the second segment with projecting scales beneath, the terminal one short). Tibiae simple. Wing-span 24–29 mm. Forewings entire; relatively plain (with dots); greyish-ochreous or grey. “Edge of costal cilia grey (A. meridionalis) or white (A. bennetii) towards apex” (Meyrick). Forewing vein 3 present; 8 present; 9 present. Forewing vein 10 present. Forewing vein 10 separate. Forewing venation summary: 5–7 parallel, 8–10 approximated, 11 remote. Hindwings entire; grey. Hindwings similarly coloured to the forewings to differently coloured from the forewings. Hindwings 2 from the middle of the cell, 4 absent, 5–7 nearly parallel. Hindwing vein 3 present.

Life history and botanical associations. Adults abroad June, July, August, September, and October (double brooded). Associated with herbs; Crassinucelli; Caryophyllales.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae found January to December; hibernating (even surviving tidal submergence during the winter); on Plumbaginaceae; Limonium (A. meridionalis on L. binervosum, A. bennettii on L. vulgare). Feeding exposed; on leaves.

Pupating on leaves of the host, on nearby grass, or on rock.

Distribution and habitats. England. A. meridionalis occurs on grassy cliffs around the coasts of Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and Pembroke, while A. bennetii is locally abundant around the English coast from Hampshire to Durham, in salt-marshes and rocky places where the food plant grows. British species: A. meridionalis, A. bennetii.

Subfamily. Subfamily Agdistinae.

Illustrations. • Agdistis meridionalis (Sea-side Plume: B. Ent. 471). • Agdistis meridionalis: B. Ent. 471, legend+text. • Agdistis meridionalis: B. Ent. 471, text cont.. • Agdistis bennetii, with species of Amblyptilia, Cnaemidophorus, Oxyptilus and Platyptilia: Leech, 1886. • Amblyptilia, Agdistis, Capperia, Buckleria, Cnaemidophorus, Oxyptilus, Platyptilia: Beirne, 1952. • Agdistis adactyla (mainland-European): Hübner, 1819. • Agdistis bennetii and A. meridionalis: Beirne, 1952. • Agdistis bennetii: Barrett, 1907. • neuration: Agdistis bennetii, Emmelina, Merrifielda, Stenoptilia.

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. British insects: the Plume moths (Pterophoridae and Alucitidae). Version: 1st January 2012.’.