British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia tantillaria Boisduval

E. subumbrata (Hübner), E. pusillata sensu auctt., E. piceata Prout.

Dwarf Pug.

Adults. Thorax neither white nor white-striped. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 19–22 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa arched; apically blunt to somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned; pale greyish-whitish or greyish-ochreous, with curved fuscous striae tending to be more distinct from the angle to the costa and the postmedian one tending to be dotted; the median band dark-edged, and traversed near the dorsum by a dark-marked vein; the dark subterminal fascia bisected by the pale subterminal line, crossed towards the apex by two fairly conspicuous pale streaks and interrupted in the middle by a pale patch, the subterminal line tending to form median and tornal dots. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark slightly elongate (oval); black and distinct. Forewings with a pale tornal spot to without a tornal spot (the subterminal line ending in a more or less interrupted pale crescent). Forewing fringes conspicuously chequered.

Hindwings whitish, darkened postmedianly and dorsally; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; conspicuously patterned; transversely striated (the dotted striations more distinct towards the dorsum, including a rather prominent, geniculate postmedian one); with a clear discal mark (this rather dark); the fringes conspicuously chequered to not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with a pale basal band adjoining a dark sub-basal one; with the margins mixed black.

Neuration. Vein 10 of the forewings arising out of 11 and anastomosing with 9 to form a simple areole.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with a pair of apical extensions. The bursa copulatrix with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution (mostly smooth or only finely scobinate on the proximal third); conspicuously spiny (with small and rather large spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants Gymnospermous; Pinaceae (mainly), or Cupressaceae. The larvae found on Picea, Pinus, Larix, Pseudotsuga, and Tsuga, also Chamaecyparis; feeding on leafy shoots (on needles).

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad late April to July; larvae found July and August. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (locally common throughout the British Isles except Orkney, the Hebrides and the northern islands of Scotland).

Special key characters. Forewings without a postmedian line bearing arrow-like markings; not dominated by double ante- and postmedian lines. Hindwings whitish, or pale grey.

Illustrations. • E. tantillaria (Dwarf Pug), with other Pugs: South. • E. tantillaria (Dwarf 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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