British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia irriguata (Hübner)

Variegata Haworth, irriguaria Boisduval.

Marbled Pug.

Adults. Thorax neither white nor white-striped. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 19–23 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate; the outer margin convexly curved to more or less straight; the costa arched; apically blunt.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; predominantly rather shining white or ochreous-whitish in the disc, with a dark fuscous sub-basal fascia and a subterminal one interrupted white patches, otherwise with dark fuscous markings well defined only costally where they form a narrow band that is broadly interrupted beyond the discal spot; otherwise with only very faint bent fuscous striae, or with two or three median striae detectably darker; the fringe fairly conspicuously chequered. Forewings with a dark discal mark (this black). The discal mark shortly elongate, or dot-like; black and distinct. Forewing fringes conspicuously chequered to somewhat chequered.

Hindwings whitish with grey dorsal striae (the latter usually faint apart from the last two), a blackish dorsal sub-basal spot, and an interrupted subterminal band paler than that of the forewings; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; fairly conspicuously patterned; without transverse striation; with a clear discal mark (this blackish); the fringes fairly conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with an entire black sub-basal band; with lateral series of black spots.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with a pair of apical extensions. The bursa copulatrix ornamented over most of its surface; anteriorly conspicuously spiny.

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants woody-dicotyledonous; Fagaceae. The larvae found on oak (mainly) and beech; feeding on flowers, buds, and leafy shoots (?).

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad April and May; larvae found in June. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, and Wales (England and Wales south of a line from Caernarvon to the Thames estuary, local).

Special key characters. Forewings not predominantly green, yellow, or blackish; white in the disc. Hindwings whitish, or pale grey.

General comments. A woodland species.

Illustrations. • E. irriguata (Marbled Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. subumbrata, E. irriguata, E. indigata and E. pusillata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. irriguata (Marbled Pug), with other Pugs: South. • E. irriguata, with 15 other pugs illustrated by Hubner (1790–1817). • E. irriguata (Marbled Pug), with other Pugs: 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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