British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia abbreviata Stephens

E. nebulata (Haworth), E. subfasciata Stephens, E. abbreviaria Doubleday.

Brindled Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 23–26 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate to not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight; apically blunt.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; greyish ochreous or pale grey, with bent, rather dark fuscous striae and usually all the fasciae somewhat suffused fuscous; veins partially marked black, especially towards the posterior edge of the median band; the postmedian fascia biangulate, the postmedian line emitting small basally-pointing dark triangles which are often larger and more conspicuous towards the dorsum. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark elongate (shortly transversely linear); partially posteriorly whitish-edged; black and distinct. Forewing fringes conspicuously chequered to not chequered.

The termen of the hindwings slightly concave; apex somewhat pointed; hindwings pale grey with darker striae; hindwings paler and less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; hindwings conspicuously patterned to rather plain; hindwings more or less transversely striated (more strongly dorsally); hindwings with a clear discal mark to without a clear discal mark (this present but faint); fringes conspicuously chequered to not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned, or plain; neither ringed nor banded nor white-based; with a black lateral streak (in the male), or with lateral series of black spots.

Neuration. Forewing and hindwing neuration layout revealed in detail by conspicuous darkening (including the outlines of the cells, in f. nigra), or not conspicuously darkened. Vein 10 of the forewings arising out of 11 and anastomosing with 9 to form a simple areole.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with a pair of apical extensions, or in the form of a single sclerotized patch with retuse apex (the prongs very short). The bursa copulatrix with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution; only inconspicuously spiny (with restricted zones of sparse, fairly coarse spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically rather specialised. Foodplants woody-dicotyledonous; Fagaceae and Rosaceae. The larvae found on Quercus robur and Q. petraea, also hawthorn; feeding on or preferring flowers and catkins.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad April and May; larvae found June and July. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (locally abundant, absent only from the Outer Hebrides, Orkneys and Shetlands).

Melanism. Melanic imagines frequent. The melanic f. nigra has blackish or blackish bronzy fore- and hindwings marked only by the darkened nervures.

Special key characters. Forewings with small dark arrow-like markings pointing inwards from the postmedian line. Hindwings not predominantly green, yellow, or black; ochreous, or pale fuscous, or pale grey, or tinged bronze.

General comments. The hindwing termen slightly concave, resulting in the apex being rather pointed.

Illustrations. • E. abbreviata (Brindled Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. denotata jaseoneata, E. tenuiata, E. inturbata, E. dodoneata and E. abbreviata, with larvae. Barrett. • E. abbreviata (Brindled Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. abbreviata (Brindled Pug), with other Pugs: Swain (5).


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: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae). Version: 29th December 2011. http://delta-intkey.com’.

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