British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia valerianata (Hübner)

Viminata Doubleday, viminaria Morris.

Valerian Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 20–22 mm. Forewings not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa arched; apically somewhat pointed.

Forewings dingy; grey (glossy when fresh), with very indistinct striations endinging in darker marks at the costa; the posterior, dark edge of the otherwise undefined postmedian fascia obtusely angulated; the pale, dentate subterminal line sometimes incomplete. Forewings with a dark discal mark, or without a discal mark (this very inconspicuous if present). The discal mark if detectable, grey, indistinct. Forewings with a pale tornal spot (this small but relatively prominent, elongate, terminating the pale subterminal line). Forewing fringes not chequered.

Hindwings light grey, fairly faintly striated post-medianly and posteriorly, the terminally darker-suffused region enclosing a paler wavy subterminal line; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; conspicuously patterned to rather plain; transversely striated; with a clear discal mark; with a pale tornal spot (according to Meyrick), or without a pale tornal spot (?); the fringes not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen plain; neither ringed nor banded nor white-based; laterally neither black-streaked nor black-spotted.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with a pair of apical extensions (elongate, the prongs short). The bursa copulatrix ornamented over most of its surface, or with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution (?); coarsely, conspicuously spiny (with large spines).

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Valerianaceae. The larvae found on Valeriana dioica and V. officinalis; feeding on flowers and seeds.

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

Special key characters. Hindwings pale fuscous, or pale grey.

Illustrations. • E. valerianata (Valerian Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. valerianata and larva: Barrett. • E. intricata arceuthata, E. intricata millieraria, E. plumbeolata, E. satyrata and E. haworthiata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. valerianata (Valerian 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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