British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)
Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 24–27 mm. Forewings not noticeably elongate, or distinctly elongate to not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight; apically blunt to somewhat pointed.
Forewings generally relatively conspicuously patterned (but the boldness of the characteristic, netted markings depending on the form encountered); in the typical form (subsp. venosata) pale ochreous-grey, the broad median band delimited on either side by pairs of black-edged curved and wavy pale striae, the veins across the dorsal half blackish, a blackish transverse line near the base and a median one continuous with the linear discal mark; varying to smokey-brownish grey or dark ochreous to clay-yellow with the markings less contrasty (subsp. fumosae and ochracae). The forewing patterning not restricted to dark discal or costal and discal spots. Forewings with a dark discal mark (this black, often continuous with the median line). The discal mark elongate (transversely linear). Forewing fringes somewhat chequered to not chequered.
Hindwings paler than the forewings, with the median line and posterior striae less distinct except sometimes dorsally and posteriorly; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; conspicuously patterned to rather plain (in different forms); transversely striated (at least posteriorly and dorsally, to varying intensity); with a clear discal mark (this grey), or without a clear discal mark; the fringes conspicuously chequered to not conspicuously chequered.
The abdomen conspicuously patterned; with an entire black sub-basal band; laterally neither black-streaked nor black-spotted.
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 two separate sclerotized components. The bursa copulatrix ornamented over most of its surface; densely but only inconspicuously spiny.
Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants herbaceous-dicotyledonous; Caryophyllaceae. The larvae found on species of Lychnis and Silene; feeding on seed capsules.
Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad May and June; 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 except at high altitudes throughout Britain and Ireland, represented by subspecies in the Outer Hebrides (subspp. hebridensis), Orkney and Shetland (ochraceae and fumosae), and extreme SW England and W Ireland (plumbea)).
Special key characters. Forewings not dominated by double ante- and postmedian lines; with median lines black throughout. Hindwings pale ochreous, or ochreous, or light brown, or brown, or pale fuscous, or pale grey, or pale grey.
Illustrations. • E. venosata (Netted Pug) and varieties, with larva: Barrett. • E. venosata (Netted Pug), with other Pugs: South. • E. venosata, with 15 other pugs illustrated by Hubner (1790–1817). • Subspecies of E. venosata (Netted 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’.