British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)
Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 19–24 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate to not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa arched; apically blunt.
Forewings dingy; pale grey or grey-ochreous, with most markings obsolete; with a faint geniculate postmedian fascia, darker, wavy transverse striae (more strongly marked on the costa) and a faint, pale fine subterminal line in the uniformly grey terminal fascia. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark dot-like; black and distinct. Forewings with a pale tornal spot to without a tornal spot (this faint at best). Forewing fringes somewhat chequered to not chequered.
Hindwings coloured similarly to the forewings to paler, and even less conspicuously patterned; patterned similarly to the forewings; conspicuously patterned to rather plain; very inconspicuously transversely striated; usually without a clear discal mark; with a pale tornal spot, or without a pale tornal spot; the fringes conspicuously chequered to not conspicuously chequered.
The abdomen plain.
Neuration. 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 retuse apex. The bursa copulatrix ornamented over most of its surface to with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution (mostly over the distal 2/3); conspicuously spiny.
Early stages, ecology. Botanically polyphagous. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Compositae (Asteraceae), Dipsacaceae, and Rubiaceae. The larvae found on Achillea, Galium, Scabiosa, Solidago, etc.
Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad May, June, and July. South-east England.
Special key characters. Forewings not reddish-tinged. Hindwings pale grey.
General comments. The imago resembles E. satyrata, but the forewing markings of the latter are more clearly defined, including alternate light-and-dark spotting of nervures and a more prominent discal spot. Reliable identification of this species seems to depend on examination of the genitalia. However, there is only a dubious mid-19th Century British record, so it is probably a spurious inclusion in British check lists.
Illustrations. • E. cauchiata (Guenée’s Pug), with other Pugs: Newman.
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’.