British Insects: the Plume moths


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Marasmarcha Meyrick

Adults. Face somewhat tufted. Labial palps slender, ascending (the terminal segment pointed). Tibiae simple. Wing-span 22–24 mm. Forewings conspicously cleft; 2-segmented; cleft from about the middle (or from before 2/3). The lower lobe expanded towards the apex. Forewings conspicuously patterned (with an inwards-angled whitish-ochreous fascia on the base of the segments); yellowish brown with pale markings in the female, red-brown with more distinct markings in the male. The base of the fissure preceded by an inwards-angulated whitish-ochreous fascia. Forewing venation exhibiting the cell apically truncated. Forewing vein 3 present (connate or stalked with 4); 8 present; 9 absent. Forewing vein 10 present. Forewing vein 10 out of 8 (or these stalked). Hindwings conspicuously cleft; 3-segmented (the lobes all more or less the same width); dark fuscous. Hindwings differently coloured from the forewings. Hindwings without large black scale-teeth in the the posterior segment. Hindwings 3 and 4 connate or stalked. The second lobe 3-veined. Hindwing vein 3 present (i.e. in the middle lobe, connate or stalked with 4).

Life history and botanical associations. Adults abroad July. Associated with herbs; Crassinucelli; Fabales.

Larvae and pupae. The larvae found June; on Leguminosae; Ononis. Feeding exposed; on leaves and on young shoots (somtimes biting through the young stem).

Distribution and habitats. England and Wales. Widely distributed and locally abundant in England and Wales south of Norfolk and Denbigh; in sheltered situations on sandy coasts and inland on chalky soils. British species: M. lunaedactyla.

Subfamily. Subfamily Platyptilinae.

Illustrations. • Marasmarcha lunaedactyla: Hübner, 1813. • Marasmarcha lunaedactyla, with Capperia, Emmilina, Euleioptilus, Hellinsia, Oidaematophorus, Ovendenia, Oxyptilus and Stenoptilia: Leech, 1886. • Marasmarcha lunaedactyla: Beirne, 1952. • Marasmarcha, Merrifieldia, Platyptilia, Stenoptilia: Beirne, 1952. • Marasmarcha lunaedactyla: 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.’.