British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia millefoliata Rössler

E. achilleata Mabille.

Yarrow Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 23–27 mm. Forewings not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight; apically blunt to somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; grey or ochreous-tinged mottled with white, with brownish grey and blackish grey post-median and subterminal fasciae and numerous fine transverse striae; the geniculate postmedian fascia with a pale streak from its angle to near the apex of the obscurely pale subterminal line, the latter interiorly dark-edged; the marginal band noticeably darker than the rest of the wing bt paler towards its apex. Without the more conspicuous reddish-ochreous fasciae of E. abietaria. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark not whitish-edged; black and distinct (but characteristically diffuse especially towards the costa). Forewings with a pale tornal spot to without a tornal spot (this at most indistinct). Forewing fringes somewhat chequered to not chequered.

Hindwings ground-coloured like the forewings, but basally paler; patterned similarly to the forewings to less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; conspicuously patterned; transversely striated (at least postmedianly and dorsally); without a clear discal mark (this at best inconspicuous); the fringes fairly conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen not reddish towards the base; conspicuously patterned; with an entire black sub-basal band, or with an interrupted black sub-basal band, or with a fuscous sub-basal band (?).

Neuration. Vein 10 of the forewings arising independently, anastomosing with 11 and 9 to form a double areole.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with retuse apex. The bursa copulatrix with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution (the bursa anteriorly smooth); fairly coarsely, conspicuously spiny.

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Compositae (Asteraceae). The larvae found on flowers and later on fruits of Achillea millefolium.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad late May, June, and July; larvae found August to November. South-east England and Central-southern England (mainly coastal).

Special key characters. Forewings with median lines blackish only on the costa, otherwise faint. Hindwings whitish and pale grey.

General comments. This is an inadequate description. Species first recorded in Britain in 1939. Adults similar to subnotata, including the divided areole.

Illustrations. • E. millefoliata (Yarrow 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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