British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia centaureata (Denis & Schiffermüller)

Oblongata Thunberg, centaurearua Boisduval.

Lime-speck Pug.

Adults. Thorax wholly white. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 21–24 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight; apically blunt.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; white with otherwise obsolete striae showing dark grey on the costal and hind margins, the main feature being a characteristic dark median patch extending from the costa to the discal spot; the pale subterminal line edged by pale greyish or brownish shading, and the fringe conspicuously chequered. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark somewhat elongate; black and distinct (small, crescentic, adjoining or immediately interior to the bluish-grey costal-discal mark). Forewings without a tornal spot. Forewing fringes conspicuously chequered.

Hindwings whitish; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings (though similarly coloured); conspicuously patterned (with about 5 dark striae conspicuous only towards the hind margin); transversely striated (conspicuously so towards the hand margin); with a clear discal mark (this grey, indistinct), or without a clear discal mark; the fringes conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with a white base, or neither ringed nor banded nor white-based; with lateral series of black spots (on two basal segments only, but dorsally dark-spotted on most segments).

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with a pair of apical extensions (the prongs broad and blunt). The bursa copulatrix ornamented over most of its surface; conspicuously spiny to only inconspicuously spiny (with only tiny spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically polyphagous. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Campanulaceae, Compositae (Asteraceae), Dipsacaceae, Plantaginaceae, Ranunculaceae, and Umbelliferae (Apiaceae). The larvae found on divers Compositae and Umbelliferae, also Saxifraga, Campanula, Scabiosa, Clematis, Plantago, etc.!; feeding on flowers and seeds.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad May, June, and August; larvae found July and August. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (widespread and generally common except at higher altitudes).

Special key characters. Forewings white in the disc. Hindwings white and pale grey.

Illustrations. • E. centaureata (Lime-speck Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. centaureata, E. succenturiata and E. icterata subfulvata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. centaureata (Lime-speck Pug), with other Pugs: South. • E. centaureata, with 15 other pugs illustrated by Hubner (1790–1817). • E. centaureata (Lime-speck Pug), with other Pugs: Swain. • E. centaureata (Lime-speck Pug)), with E. abietaria and E. pygmaeata: Swain. • E. centaureata (Lime-speck Pug), with other Pugs: Newman. • E. centaureata: forewing neuration.


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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