British Insects: the Plume moths


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz


Formerly Oxyptilus.

Adults. Face shortly tufted, or smooth (?). Labial palps ascending (the second segment with scales beneath). Wing-span 20–23 mm. Forewings conspicously cleft; 2-segmented; cleft from about the middle. The lower lobe expanded towards the apex. Forewings conspicuously patterned; dark reddish fuscous with a few dark scales, with two conspicous white bars on the segments, the cilia mixed with black scales and barred whitish. The cilia mixed with black scales and barred whitish. The base of the fissure preceded by a whitish spot (this indistinct, as is another in the disc at about 1/3). Forewing venation exhibiting the cell apically truncated. Forewing vein 3 present (out of 4); 8 present; 9 present (out of 8). Forewing vein 10 present. Forewing vein 10 out of 8. Hindwings conspicuously cleft; 3-segmented; dark fuscous. Hindwings similarly coloured to the forewings to differently coloured from the forewings (less reddish). Hindwings with two large subapical black scale-teeth conspicuous in the dorsal cilia of the posterior segment, these separated by a white one, and with white scales along the dorsum of the lobe. The second lobe 3-veined. Hindwing vein 3 present (in the middle lobe).

Life history and botanical associations. Adults abroad June and July. Associated with herbs; Tenuinucelli; Lamiales.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae found September to December, or January to May; hibernating (on the undersides of leaves); on Labiatae; Teucrium (T. scorodonia). Feeding exposed; on leaves.

Distribution and habitats. England. Confined to and local in England, where it is widely distributed in association with wood sage (apparently avoiding plants in hedgerows). British species: C. britanniodactyla.

Subfamily. Subfamily Platyptilinae.

Illustrations. • Capperia britanniodactyla (specimens): photo. • Capperia britanniodactyla (specimen): photo. • Capperia britanniodactyla, with Emmilina, Euleioptilus, Hellinsia, Marasmarcha, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Oxyptilus and Stenoptilia: Leech, 1886. • Amblyptilia, Agdistis, Capperia, Buckleria, Cnaemidophorus, Oxyptilus, Platyptilia: Beirne, 1952. • Capperia britanniodactyla, details: Beirne, 1952. • Capperia britanniodactyla: 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.’.