British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia pimpinellata (Hübner)

E. pimpinellaria Boisduval, E. denotata sensu Doubleday.

Pimpinel Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 23–25 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate to not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight; apically blunt to somewhat pointed.

Forewings rather dingy; usually light brown to pale ochreous and somewhat whitish mixed except the darkened costa, with several weakly defined angulated striae that are only obscurely darker except where they form small blackish costal spots; the edges of the weakly defined geniculate median band tending blackish-marked at least towards the costa; the median vein and its branches dotted with black, the veins normally scarcely black-marked; the fairly obscure subterminal line pale or whitish, wavy, sometimes edged blackish, dentate towards the costa and widened tornally; and sometimes exhibiting a dark wavy line along the termen. Occasionally the costal half of the wing is greyish, with the rest faintly tinged pale brownish. The forewing patterning more or less dominated by the conspicuous, dark discal and smaller costal spots, or more or less confined to the dark discal spot; without a predominant anterior-median triangle of dark spots. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark elongate; not whitish-edged; black and distinct (large and very prominent). Forewings with a pale tornal spot (this elongate, ending the subterminal line). Forewing fringes not chequered.

Hindwings whitish to light grey with darker grey striae and darkened, curved postmedian fasciae; patterned similarly to the forewings to less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; fairly conspicuously patterned; transversely striated (fairly conspicuously, especially dorsally and postmedianly, or only obscurely); with a clear discal mark; without a pale tornal spot; the fringes not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with a brown or ferrugineous sub-basal band; laterally neither black-streaked nor black-spotted.

Neuration. Forewing and hindwing neuration layout more or less revealed in detail by conspicuous darkening (in relatively unicolorous forms), or not conspicuously darkened.

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; conspicuously spiny to only inconspicuously spiny (with relatively few, small spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Umbelliferae (Apiaceae). The larvae found on Pimpinella spp.; feeding on flowers and seed capsules.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad June and July; larvae found September and October. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Wales, and Ireland (absent from Scotland and known in Wales only from Caernarvonshire).

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

Illustrations. • E. pimpinellata (Pimpinel Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. lariceata, E. subfuscata, E. tripunctaria and E. pimpinellata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. pimpinellata (Pimpinel Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. pimpinellata, with 9 other pugs illustrated by Hubner (1790–1817). • E. pimpinellata (Pimpinel 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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