British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia nanata (Hübner)

E. angustata (Haworth), E. angusta Prout.

Narrow-winged Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 18–22 mm. Forewings very distinctly elongate; the outer margin more or less straight; the costa more or less straight; apically somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; pale grey, or whitish, contrastingly striped with dark fuscous angulated or much-bent striae, these separated by pairs of pale or white striae; the postmedian fascia biangulate, the veins partly black-marked; the conspicuous pale or white subterminal line forming a tornal spot and traversed by an oblique whitish apical dash which links the upper angle of the postmedian fascia with the wing apex. Forewings with a dark discal mark (this small). The discal mark very shortly elongate to dot-like; black and distinct (and preceded anteriorly by a white dot). Forewings with a pale tornal spot. Forewing fringes conspicuously chequered to somewhat chequered.

Hindwings with curved dark striae and fasciae on the whitish background; only somewhat less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; conspicuously patterned (at least dorsally and postmedianly); transversely striated (whitish and grey, at least dorsally and postmedianly); with a clear discal mark (though this small); the fringes conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with a brown or ferrugineous sub-basal band; with lateral series of black spots.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with entire apex (this triangular-elongate). The bursa copulatrix ornamented over most of its surface; only inconspicuously spiny to without spines (at most with some very small spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants woody-dicotyledonous; Ericaceae. The larvae found on Erica and Calluna; feeding on flowers (or inside them).

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad late April, May, and June, or August; larvae found July, August, and September. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (locally common in moorland and heaths throughout the British Isles).

Special key characters. The subterminal line whitish throughout. Hindwings whitish, or pale grey, or grey.

Illustrations. • E. nanata (Narrow-winged Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. nanata, E. distinctaria and E. virgaureata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. nanata (Narrow-winged Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. nanata, with 15 other pugs illustrated by Hubner (1790–1817). • E. nanata (Narrow-winged 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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