British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia distinctaria Herrich-Schäffer

E. constrictaria Morris, E. distinctaria subsp. constrictata Guenée.

Thyme Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 18–21 mm (in British material, which is referred to subsp. constrictata). Forewings distinctly elongate; the outer margin convexly curved to more or less straight; apically blunt to somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned (but delicately marked, apart from the dark spots); grey-whitish to grey-brownish, with slender blackish curved striae and some indistinct greyish ones darkened to form spots at the costa, the edges of the geniculate postmedian band fine, dark fuscous, blackish marked and forming blackish costal spots; with a small dark postmedian dorsal mark, and the darker subterminal band enclosing a faint wavy whitish subterminal line. The forewing patterning not restricted to dark discal or costal and discal spots. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark elongate (tending to be linked to a dark costal mark); black and distinct (prominent). Forewings without a tornal spot. Forewing fringes somewhat chequered to not chequered.

Hindwings light grey or brownish-grey, traversed except near the costa by somewhat darker striae including a rather conspicuous median one, the underside with a curved postmedian line; patterned similarly to the forewings; fairly conspicuously patterned; obscurely transversely striated; with a clear discal mark (this small but conspicuous, dark grey); the fringes not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen plain (the margins mixed blackish); neither ringed nor banded nor white-based; laterally neither black-streaked nor black-spotted.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with entire apex (shortly produced apically). The bursa copulatrix with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution; densely conspicuously spiny (with rather slender spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Labiatae (Lamiaceae). The larvae found on Thymus serpyllum, taking Origanum vulgare in captivity; feeding on flowers.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad June to August; larvae found August and September. Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (locally common in Scotland and Wales, rather scarce elsewhere).

Special key characters. Forewings not predominantly green, yellow, or blackish. Hindwings light brown, or pale fuscous, or pale grey.

Illustrations. • E. distinctaria (Thyme Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. nanata, E. distinctaria and E. virgaureata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. distinctaria (Thyme Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. distinctaria (Thyme Pug), with other Pugs: Swain (4).


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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