British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Pasiphila chloerata Mabille

Sloe Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 18–21 mm. Forewings not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa arched; apically blunt to somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; usually green or green-tinged, but varying to bronze-tinged or whitish-greyish or (especially when faded) pale brownish; conspicuously darkly striated blackish-grey or fuscous, the edges of the median band black, its anterior edge curved and its posterior one curved to once-angulated (not dentate) towards the costa; a subterminal dark fascia interrupted near the apex, the subterminal line whitish only in dark varieties. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark shortly elongate to dot-like; not whitish-edged; black and distinct. Forewing fringes somewhat chequered to not chequered.

Hindwings green, greenish or pale grey, the postmedian fascia curved to smoothly geniculatebut not angulated; patterned similarly to the forewings; very conspicuously patterned (matching the forewings); transversely striated (the several darker striae sharp and wavy); with a clear discal mark, or without a clear discal mark; the fringes conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with an interrupted black sub-basal band; laterally neither black-streaked nor black-spotted.

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 two separate sclerotized components. The bursa copulatrix with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution; conspicuously spiny to only inconspicuously spiny; ornamented exclusively by single narrow, curved transverse row of tiny spines.

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants woody-dicotyledonous; Rosaceae. The larvae found on Prunus spinosa, by contrast with P. rectangulata; feeding on flowers, seed capsules, and seeds.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad May, June, and July; larvae found March, April, and May. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, and Wales (but absent from much of the southwest).

Special key characters. Forewings without a conspicuous broad median fascia from costa to dorsum; without a postmedian line bearing arrow-like markings. The postmedian forewing line once-angulated to the costa. The subterminal line not whitish throughout. Hindwings greenish when fresh, or not predominantly green, yellow, or black; whitish, or green, or greenish, or pale fuscous, or pale grey, or blackish, or tinged bronze.

General comments. The adult moth is closely similar to the Green Pug, with which British material was confused until the larvae were correctly identified in 1960. Hindwing underside postmedian line obsolete or absent.


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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