British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia assimilata Doubl.

E. assimilaria Morris.

Currant Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 20–23 mm. Forewings not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa arched; apically blunt, or blunt to somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned to dingy; resembling those of E. absinthiata, but all the markings rather more distinct. Brown to fuscous, reddish tinged, with obtusely angulated faint striae which become blackish on the costa, and the geniculate edges of the otherwise inconspicuous postmedian band forming more conspicuous costal spots; the veins on the fourth fascia shortly black-marked; the dotted subterminal line whitish, ending in a pale tornal spot. Ground colour tending to richer brown in the first generation, duller and greyer in the second. The forewing patterning more or less dominated by the conspicuous, dark discal and smaller costal spots to not restricted to dark discal or costal and discal spots; dominated by two dark costal spots which form with the discal one the corners of a conspicuous anterior-median triangle, or without a predominant anterior-median triangle of dark spots; triangle of spots when conspicuous, equilateral. Forewings with a dark discal mark. Forewings with a pale tornal spot (this usually more conspicuous than in E. absinthiata). Forewing fringes somewhat chequered to not chequered.

The termen of the hindwings slightly concave to convexly rounded; apex somewhat pointed to smoothly rounded into the costa; hindwings greyish with weak or obsolete striae and fasciae; hindwings even less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; hindwings rather plain (paler than the forewings); hindwings weakly transversely striated (but more so than in E. absinthiata, and the whitish tornal dot paler); hindwings usually without a clear discal mark; hindwings with a pale tornal spot (usually, but small), or without a pale tornal spot; fringes not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned, or plain; with an interrupted black sub-basal band (and the male abdomen truncate in profile).

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with entire apex (this triangular). The bursa copulatrix ornamented over most of its surface (but denser distally); conspicuously spiny to only inconspicuously spiny (with only small spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised, or polyphagous (?). Foodplants woody-dicotyledonous; Cannabaceae and Grossulariaceae. The larvae found on Ribes rubrum and R. nigrum, but also Humulus.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad May, June, and August; larvae found July, September, and October. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

Special key characters. Forewings at least partially reddish-tinged. Hindwings ochreous, or light brown, or brown, or pale fuscous, or pale grey, or grey.

Illustrations. • E. assimilata (Currant Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. vulgata, E. expallidata, E. absinthiata and E. assimilata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. assimilata (Currant Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. assimilata (Currant Pug), with other species: Swain.


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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