British Insects: the Plume moths


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Emmelina Tutt

Formerly Pterophorus.

Adults. Face smooth. Labial palps ascending. Tibiae simple. Wing-span 25–31 mm. Forewings conspicously cleft; 2-segmented; cleft from beyond the middle (from about 2/3). The lower lobe expanded towards the apex. Forewings relatively plain; the ground colour rather variable: whitish ochreous to pale reddish brown, often sprinkled whitish or blackish, with dark dots and a dark or blackish mark at the base of the fissure. Forewings yellowish whitish, or whitish ochreous, or ochreous, or yellowish brown, or light brown, or ferrugineous. Cilia costally concolorous with the wing, otherwise grey. Forewings with 2–3 small dark dots on the posterior margins of the lobes near their apices. The base of the fissure preceded by a single dark spot or mark. Forewing venation exhibiting the cell produced into points. Forewing vein 3 present (connate or stalked with 4); 8 present; 9 absent. Forewing vein 10 present. Forewing vein 10 separate, or 10 out of 8. Hindwings conspicuously cleft; 3-segmented; grey. Hindwings differently coloured from the forewings (darker). Hindwings without large black scale-teeth in the the posterior segment. The second lobe 2-veined veins.

Life history and botanical associations. Adults abroad July, or September to December, or January to May; (those of the second brood) hibernating (in dense vegetation, for example in ivy). Associated with shrubs, herbs, and vines; Crassinucelli (rarely?), or Tenuinucelli; Solanales (preferred?), or Asterales, or Caryophyllales, or Ericales.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae found January to December; on Convolvulaceae (preferred?), or Caprifoliaceae, or Ericaceae, or Polygonaceae; Calystegia and Convolvulus (preferred), Senecio, Erica, Calluna, Vaccinium, Erica, Calluna, Vaccinium. Feeding exposed; on young shoots.

Distribution and habitats. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Common throughout the British Isles except the Shetlands, often in hedgerows. British species: E. monodactyla.

Subfamily. Subfamily Pterophorinae.

Illustrations. • Emmelina monodactyla: forewing venation and hind tibia. Beirne, 1952. • Emmelina monodactyla (specimens): photo. • Emmelina monodactyla, with Capperia, Euleioptilus, Hellinsia, Marasmarcha, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Oxyptilus and Stenoptilia: Leech, 1886. • Adaina microdactyla, Alucita, Emmelina, Euleioptilus, Hellinsia, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Pselnophorus, Pterophorus. • Emmelina monodactyla: Barrett, 1907. • neuration: Agdistis, 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.’.