British Insects: the Plume moths


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Amblyptilia Hübner

Formerly Platyptilia.

Adults. Face tufted. Labial palps sub-ascending (second segment loosely scaled, the terminal filiform). Wing-span 19–23 mm. Forewings conspicously cleft; 2-segmented; cleft from beyond the middle (from 2/3 to 3/4). The lower lobe expanded towards the apex. Forewings conspicuously patterned; greyish-ochreous striated black, or reddish-fuscous. Apical 2/3 of the terminal cilia white. The base of the fissure preceded not associated with noticeable marking. Forewing venation exhibiting the cell apically truncated. Forewing vein 8 present (stalked with 9, 11 remote); 9 present (stalked with 8). Forewing vein 10 present. Forewing vein 10 separate. Forewing venation summary: 11 remote. Hindwings conspicuously cleft; 3-segmented (the posterior lobe narrower than the other two); blackish or dark fuscous. Hindwings differently coloured from the forewings. Hindwings with a large black scale-tooth in the dorsal cilia of the posterior segment (and with a small black apical one as well). The large scale-tooth in the posterior hindwing segment located much beyond the middle of the dorsum. The second lobe 3-veined. Hindwing vein 3 present (in the middle lobe).

Life history and botanical associations. Adults abroad January to May, or July, or September to December; (those of the second brood) hibernating. Associated with shrubs and herbs; Crassinucelli and Tenuinucelli; Dipsacales, Geraniales, Lamiales, Primulales, and Ranunculales.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae found June and August; not hibernating; on Ericaceae (A. acanthadactyla, sometimes), or Geraniaceae, Labiatae, Leguminosae, Primulaceae, and Ranunculaceae; Erica, Calluna, Vaccinium, Erodium, Stachys, Ononis, Primula, and Aquilegia. Feeding concealed; in fruits.

Distribution and habitats. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Both species widely are distributed in Britain and Ireland, including the Hebrides; associated with woods, hedgerows, heaths and other open country. British species: A. acanthadactyla, A. punctidactya.

Subfamily. Subfamily Platyptilinae.

Illustrations. • Amblyptilia acanthadactyla, with Agdistis, Cnaemidophorus, Oxyptilus and Platyptilia: Leech, 1886. • Amblyptilia, Agdistis, Capperia, Buckleria, Cnaemidophorus, Oxyptilus, Platyptilia: Beirne, 1952. • Amblyptilia acanthadactyla: Hübner, 1813. • Amblyptilia punctidactyla: Hübner, 1819. • Amblyptilia acanthadactyla and A. punctidactyla, detail: Beirne, 1952. • Amblyptilia acanthadactyla and A. punctidactyla: Barrett, 1907.

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.’.