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Eupithecia is a large genus of moths of the family Geometridae. There are hundreds of described species, found in all parts of the world (45 in the British Isles alone), and new species are discovered on a regular basis.

Eupithecia
Eupithecia.innotata.7141.jpg
Eupithecia innotata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Clade: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Tribe: Eupitheciini
Genus: Eupithecia
Curtis, 1825
Synonyms
  • Arcyonia Hübner, 1825
  • Bohatschia Schütze, 1960
  • Catarina Vojnits & De Laever, 1973
  • Delaeveria Schütze, 1961
  • Dietzea Schütze, 1956
  • Dochephora Warren, 1895
  • Dolichopyge Warren, 1900
  • Dyscymatoge Hübner, 1825
  • Epicaste Gumppenberg, 1887
  • Eucymatoge Hübner, [1825]
  • Euphitecia Carnelutti & Michieli, 1958
  • Eurypeplodes Warren, 1893
  • Heteropithecia Vojnits, 1985
  • Hypepirritis Hübner, [1825]
  • Lamelluncia Mironov, 1990
  • Lepiodes Guenée, 1858
  • Leucocora Hübner, 1825
  • Mnesiloba Warren, 1901
  • Neopithecia Vojnits, 1985
  • Pena Walker, 1863
  • Petersenia Schütze, 1958
  • Phaulostathma Warren, 1900
  • Propithecia Vojnits, 1985
  • Sebastia Warren, 1895 (preocc. Kirby, 1892)
  • Stenopla Warren, 1900
  • Tarachia Hübner, 1825
  • Tephroclystia Hübner, 1825
  • Tephroclystis Meyrick, 1892
  • Thysanoctena Warren, 1904
  • Trichoclystis Warren, 1904
  • Zygmena Boie, 1839

Eupithecia species form the bulk of the group commonly known as pugs. They are generally small with muted colours and specific identification can be difficult. As a group they are easily identified by their narrow wings held flat at 90° to the body with the hindwings almost hidden behind the forewings.

The larvae of many species feed on the flowers and seeds of their food plants rather than the foliage. Many species have a very specific food plant. Some Hawaiian Eupithecia are predators of other insects (E. orichloris, E. staurophragma, E. scoriodes). They mimic twigs but when sensitive hairs on their backs are triggered, they quickly grab the insects touching them. The defensive behavior of snapping may have pre-adapted Hawaii's ancestral Eupithecia for shifting to predation from feeding on pollen. Also, insect predators that behave in this way are lacking in Hawaii's fauna.

Contents

SpeciesEdit

This is a list of all described species.

 
Common pug, Eupithecia miserulata, feeding on Rudbeckia serotina

Species of unknown statusEdit

  • Eupithecia lavicaria Fuchs, 1902 (syn: Eupithecia lavicata Prout, 1914), described from Norway.
  • Eupithecia minutana Treitschke
  • Eupithecia robusta Dietze, 1910

ReferencesEdit

  • Chinery, Michael (1986). Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe (Reprinted 1991).
  • Eupithecia at funet.fi
  • Montgomery, S. L. (1983). "Carnivorous caterpillars: the behavior, biogeography and conservation of Eupithecia (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) in the Hawaiian Islands". GeoJournal. 7 (6): 549–556. doi:10.1007/BF00218529. 
  • Skinner, Bernard (1984). Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles.

External linksEdit