British Insects: the Plume moths


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Hellinsia Tutt

Formerly Pterophorus.

Adults. Face smooth. Labial palps ascending. Tibiae simple, or thickened with scales at the origins of the spurs (?). Wing-span 18–23 mm. Forewings conspicously cleft; 2-segmented; cleft from beyond the middle (from about 2/3); relatively plain; whitish-yellowish, partly ochreous tinged, suffused light fuscous posteriorly towards the costa. Forewings yellowish whitish, or whitish ochreous, or ochreous. The cilia light grey, costally whitish-yellow. Forewings without a blackish dot 1/3 from the base; without posterior marginal dark dots. 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. Hindwings conspicuously cleft; 3-segmented; grey. Hindwings differently coloured from the forewings. 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 July; not hibernating. Associated with herbs; Tenuinucelli; Asterales.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae found September to December, or January to April; hibernating; on Compositae; Aster, Senecio, and Solidago. Feeding exposed to concealed; on flowers and on fruits.

Distribution and habitats. England. Widely distributed in England, favouring hillsides, coasts and open parts of woods. British species: H. osteodactylus.

Subfamily. Subfamily Pterophorinae.

Illustrations. • Hellinsia osteodactyla, with Capperia, Emmilina, Euleioptilus, Marasmarcha, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Oxyptilus and Stenoptilia: Leech, 1886. • Adaina microdactyla, Alucita, Emmelina, Euleioptilus, Hellinsia, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Pselnophorus, Pterophorus: Beirne, 1952. • Hellinsia osteodactylus: Barrett, 1907. • Hellinsia didactylites (mainland-European): Hübner, 1813.

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.’.