British Insects: the Plume moths


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Euleioptilus Bigot & Picard

Formerly Pterophorus.

Adults. Face smooth. Labial palps ascending (terminal segment more or less pointed). Tibiae simple, or thickened with scales at the origins of the spurs. Wing-span 17–19 mm (E. carphodactyla), or 22–24 mm (E. tephradactyla). Forewings conspicously cleft; 2-segmented; cleft from beyond the middle (from about 2/3). The lower lobe expanded towards the apex. Forewings relatively plain; whitish yellow sprinkled fuscous with yellow-whitish cilia in E. carphodactyla, pale greyish ochreous with grey cilia in E. tephradactyla. The cilia yellowish-whitish (E. carphodactyla) or grey becoming whitish-grey-ochreous towards the apex on the costa (E. tephradactyla). Forewings with a blackish dot 1/3 from the base (E. tephradactyla), or without a blackish dot 1/3 from the base (E. carphodactyla); with 2–3 small dark dots on the posterior margins of the lobes near their apices; without a blackish costal dot towards the apex. The base of the fissure preceded by a single dark spot or mark (E. carphodactyla), or by two dark dots (these placed transversely, in E. tephradactyla). 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. 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. Hindwing vein 3 absent.

Life history and botanical associations. Adults abroad June, or June and July (E. carphodactyla being double brooded); not hibernating. Associated with herbs; Tenuinucelli; Asterales.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae found August to September, or September to December, or January to May; on Compositae; Aster and Solidago (E. tephradactyla), Inula and Carlina (E. carphodactyla). Feeding exposed to concealed; on flowers, on leaves, and on young shoots.

Distribution and habitats. England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. Only in the coastal districts and chalk downs of Kent, Isle of Wight and Hampshire (L. carphodactyla), or local but widely distributed in open parts of woods throughout Britain (E. tephradactyla). British species: E. carphodactyla, E. tephradactyla.

Subfamily. Subfamily Pterophorinae.

Illustrations. • Euleioptilus tephradactyla, with Capperia, Emmilina, Hellinsia, Marasmarcha, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Oxyptilus and Stenoptilia: Leech, 1886. • Adaina microdactyla, Alucita, Emmelina, Euleioptilus, Hellinsia, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Pselnophorus, Pterophorus. • Euleioptilus carphodactyla: Hübner, 1813. • Euleioptilus tephrodactyla: Hübner, 1813. • Euleioptilus tephrodactyla, tibia of hind leg. • Euleioptilus tephrodactyla: 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.’.