British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia linariata (Denis & Schiffermüller)

Linariaria (Boisduval), linariaria Borkhausen.

Toadflax Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 19–23 mm. Forewings not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight; apically blunt.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; pale brownish-ochreous, with conspicuous grey curved striae and a short blackish bar at the base of the costa; second and fifth transverse fasciae (i.e., before and after the median band) reddish-ochreous-brown, the median band itself dark grey, uniform and and not interrupted in the middle with ochreous, posteriorly curved rather than angulated; the subterminal line conspicuous; fringe only inconspicuously chequered. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark dot-like; not whitish-edged; black and distinct. Forewing fringes only somewhat chequered.

Hindwings whitish grey, darkly lined and striated; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; conspicuously patterned (but less distinctly so than the forewings); transversely striated; with a clear discal mark; the fringes conspicuously chequered to not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen plain.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of two separate sclerotized components. The bursa copulatrix entirely smooth or only very finely scobinate (being only in part very finely scobinate).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Scrophulariaceae. The larvae found on Linaria vulgaris and Antirrhinum majus; feeding on flowers.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad June and July; larvae found August and September. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.

Special key characters. Forewings exhibiting a conspicuous broad median fascia from costa to dorsum; with a dark grey band and two reddish-ochreous fasciae. Hindwings whitish, or pale grey, or grey.

General comments. A common species except in Scotland. Resembling E. pulchellata, but generally smaller, neater looking and glossier; differing in the forewing striae being less waved and less distinct, the median band not interrupted with ochreous and its posterior edge not or less angulated, and the less distinct hindwing patterning.

Illustrations. • Larentiinae: Eupithecia linariata (Toadflax Pug. Original generic description: B. Ent. 64). • Eupithecia linariata: B. Ent. 64, legend+text. • Eupithecia linariata: B. Ent. 64, text cont.. • E. linariata (Toadflax Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. linariata and E. pulchellata, with varieties and larvae: Barrett. • E. linariata, with 15 other pugs illustrated by Hubner (1790–1817). • E. linariata (Toadflax Pug), with other Pugs: South. • E. linareata (Toadflax 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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