Biodiversity Data Journal : Taxonomic Paper
Taxonomic Paper
Records of larentiine moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) collected at the Station Linné in Sweden
expand article info Olga Schmidt
‡ SNSB-Zoologische Staatssammlung München, Munich, Germany
Open Access



The island of Öland, at the southeast of Sweden, has unique geological and environmental features. The Station Linné is a well-known Öland research station which provides facilities for effective studies and attracts researchers from all over the world. Moreover, the station remains a center for ecotourism due to extraordinary biodiversity of the area. The present paper is aimed to support popular science activities carried out on the island and to shed light on diverse geometrid moth fauna of the Station Linné.

New information

As an outcome of several research projects, including the Swedish Malaise Trap Project (SMTP) and the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative (STI) conducted at the Station Linné, a list of larentiine moths (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) collected on the territory of the station is presented. Images of moths from above and underside are shown. Of the totally 192 species registered for Sweden, 41 species (more than 21%) were collected in close proximity to the main building of the Station Linné. Malaise trap sampling of Lepidoptera is discussed.


Alvar, checklist, diversity, faunistics, geometrid moths, Larentiinae, malaise trap sampling, Öland, Skogsby


The island of Öland, at the southeast of Sweden, is famous for its dominant environmental feature, an Ordovician limestone pavement, which is called the Stora Alvaret (= the Great Alvar). Alvars are semi-natural grasslands which have been formed and developed due to long periods of human influence, including grazing (Rosén 1982). The Stora Alvaret has been designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its unusual biodiversity and prehistory. Station Linné is situated on the island of Öland being a center for research, popular science activities, and ecotourism. The research station is named after Carl von Linné who visited Öland in 1741.

The Swedish Malaise Trap Project (SMTP), funded by the Swedish Species Information Centre (ArtDatabanken), is based at the Station Linné. The project aims to provide species determinations for the specimens obtained from Malaise traps sampling at a wide range of landscapes and habitats. For many groups, including geometrid moths, the final data release is still awaited. The present paper is aimed to present a first list of the larentiine moths collected at the Station Linné.

Materials and methods

Material for study was mainly collected using a UV light trap (UV), a mercury vapor light trap (MV) and net sweeping (NS) by O. Schmidt in 2014 (June 24-29, July 1-4) and 2015 (July 20-31) in the Mörbylånga kommun, Skogsby, Station Linné (56.6186 N, 16.4989 E). The UV light trap was placed between the tree and shrub rows along a walking path, with a meadow on one side and a swampy area on the other side (Fig. 1). The mercury vapor light trap was situated nearby, at the edge of the swamp (Fig. 2). The two light traps were separated by a row of trees and shrubs.

Figure 1.  

UV light trap

Figure 2.  

MV light trap

Furthermore, material collected as part of the SMTP in 2007 and 2008 using a Malaise trap (MF) located close to the main building of the Station Linné (see, Trap ID 2006) was checked and the larentiine moths identified. This Malaise trap was placed on a lawn, about 100 m north of the Alvar edge (56.6190 N, 16.4973 E) and was running from April 2007 until November 2008. A note is given for the species recorded from Malaise trap samples only.

Additional material has been collected in the following locations: Borgholms kommun, Ismantorp; Borgholms kommun, Petgärdeträsk; Mörbylånga kommun, near Arontorp; Mörbylånga kommun, Gårdby; Mörbylånga kommun, Gillsättra_wet, Gillsättra_dry; Mörbylånga kommun, Jordtorpsåsen_wet, Jordtorpsåsen_dry; Mörbylånga kommun, Kalkstad; Mörbylånga kommun, Södra Sandby (Suppl. material 1). Specimens collected by net sweeping on Öland outside the station are marked with asterisk (NS*).

The genitalia of all small-sized moths were studied to correctly identify the species. The material was identified using the Lepidoptera collection of the Zoologische Staatssammlung München (ZSM, Germany) and publications by Mironov (2003), Elmquist et al. (2011) and Hausmann and Viidalepp (2012).

List of larentiine moth species collected at the Station Linné

Phibalapteryx virgata (Hufnagel, 1767)


Figs 3, 4

Figure 3.  

Phibalapteryx virgata, above

Figure 4.  

Phibalapteryx virgata, underneath

Cidaria fulvata (Forster, 1771)


Figs 5, 6

Figure 5.  

Cidaria fulvata, above

Figure 6.  

Cidaria fulvata, underneath

Colostygia olivata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 7, 8

Figure 7.  

Colostygia olivata, above

Figure 8.  

Colostygia olivata, underneath

Colostygia pectinataria (Knoch, 1781)


Figs 9, 10

Figure 9.  

Colostygia pectinataria, above

Figure 10.  

Colostygia pectinataria, underneath

Cosmorhoe ocellata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 11, 12

Figure 11.  

Cosmorhoe ocellata, above

Figure 12.  

Cosmorhoe ocellata, underneath

Eulithis prunata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 13, 14

Figure 13.  

Eulithis prunata, above

Figure 14.  

Eulithis prunata, underneath

Eulithis mellinata (Fabricius, 1787)


Figs 15, 16

Figure 15.  

Eulithis mellinata, above

Figure 16.  

Eulithis mellinata, underneath

Eulithis testata (Linnaeus, 1761)


Figs 17, 18

Figure 17.  

Eulithis testata, above

Figure 18.  

Eulithis testata, underneath

Gandaritis pyraliata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 19, 20

Figure 19.  

Gandaritis pyraliata, above

Figure 20.  

Gandaritis pyraliata, underneath

Plemyria rubiginata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 21, 22

Figure 21.  

Plemyria rubiginata, above

Figure 22.  

Plemyria rubiginata, underneath

Thera cognata (Thunberg, 1792)


Figs 23, 24

Figure 23.  

Thera cognata, above

Figure 24.  

Thera cognata, underneath

Eupithecia absinthiata (Clerck, 1759)


Figs 25, 26

Figure 25.  

Eupithecia absinthiata, above

Figure 26.  

Eupithecia absinthiata, underneath

Eupithecia denotata (Hübner, 1813)


Figs 27, 28

Figure 27.  

Eupithecia denotata, above

Figure 28.  

Eupithecia denotata, underneath

Eupithecia exiguata (Hübner, 1813)


Figs 29, 30

Figure 29.  

Eupithecia exiguata, above

Figure 30.  

Eupithecia exiguata, underneath

Eupithecia icterata (de Villers, 1789)


Figs 31, 32

Figure 31.  

Eupithecia icterata, above

Figure 32.  

Eupithecia icterata, underneath

Eupithecia linariata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 33, 34

Figure 33.  

Eupithecia linariata, above

Figure 34.  

Eupithecia linariata, underneath

Eupithecia nanata (Hübner, 1813)


Figs 35, 36

Figure 35.  

Eupithecia nanata, above, abdomen missing

Figure 36.  

Eupithecia nanata, underneath, abdomen missing

Eupithecia pusillata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 37, 38

Figure 37.  

Eupithecia pusillata, above

Figure 38.  

Eupithecia pusillata, underneath

Eupithecia satyrata (Hübner, 1813)


Figs 39, 40

Figure 39.  

Eupithecia satyrata, above

Figure 40.  

Eupithecia satyrata, underneath

Eupithecia subfuscata (Haworth, 1809)


Figs 41, 42

Figure 41.  

Eupithecia subfuscata, above

Figure 42.  

Eupithecia subfuscata, underneath

Eupithecia subumbrata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 43, 44

Figure 43.  

Eupithecia subumbrata, above, abdomen missing

Figure 44.  

Eupithecia subumbrata, underneath, abdomen missing

Eupithecia succenturiata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 45, 46

Figure 45.  

Eupithecia succenturiata, above

Figure 46.  

Eupithecia succenturiata, underneath

Eupithecia tenuiata (Hübner, 1813)


Figs 47, 48

Figure 47.  

Eupithecia tenuiata, above

Figure 48.  

Eupithecia tenuiata, underneath

Eupithecia valerianata (Hübner, 1813)


Figs 49, 50

Figure 49.  

Eupithecia valerianata, above

Figure 50.  

Eupithecia valerianata, underneath

Pasiphila chloerata (Mabille, 1870)


Figs 51, 52

Figure 51.  

Pasiphila chloerata, above

Figure 52.  

Pasiphila chloerata, underneath

Pasiphila rectangulata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 53, 54

Figure 53.  

Pasiphila rectangulata, above

Figure 54.  

Pasiphila rectangulata, underneath

Hydriomena furcata (Thunberg, 1784)


Figs 55, 56

Figure 55.  

Hydriomena furcata, above

Figure 56.  

Hydriomena furcata, under

Pelurga comitata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 57, 58

Figure 57.  

Pelurga comitata, above

Figure 58.  

Pelurga comitata, underneath

Mesotype didymata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 59, 60

Figure 59.  

Mesotype didymata, above

Figure 60.  

Mesotype didymata, underneath

Perizoma alchemillata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 61, 62

Figure 61.  

Perizoma alchemillata, above

Figure 62.  

Perizoma alchemillata, underneath

Philereme transversata (Hufnagel, 1767)


Figs 63, 64

Figure 63.  

Philereme transversata, above

Figure 64.  

Philereme transversata, underneath

Philereme vetulata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 65, 66

Figure 65.  

Philereme vetulata, above

Figure 66.  

Philereme vetulata, underneath

Scotopteryx chenopodiata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 67, 68

Figure 67.  

Scotopteryx chenopodiata, above

Figure 68.  

Scotopteryx chenopodiata, underneath

Pterapherapteryx sexalata (Retzius, 1783)


Figs 69, 70

Figure 69.  

Pterapherapteryx sexalata, above

Figure 70.  

Pterapherapteryx sexalata, underneath

Camptogramma bilineata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 71, 72

Figure 71.  

Camptogramma bilineata, above

Figure 72.  

Camptogramma bilineata, underneath

Catarhoe cuculata (Hufnagel, 1767)


Figs 73, 74

Figure 73.  

Catarhoe cuculata, above

Figure 74.  

Catarhoe cuculata, underneath

Catarhoe rubidata (Denis & Schiffermüller, 1775)


Figs 75, 76

Figure 75.  

Catarhoe rubidata, above

Figure 76.  

Catarhoe rubidata, underneath

Epirrhoe alternata (Müller, 1764)


Figs 77, 78

Figure 77.  

Epirrhoe alternata, above

Figure 78.  

Epirrhoe alternata, underneath

Epirrhoe hastulata (Hübner, 1790)


Figs 79, 80

Figure 79.  

Epirrhoe hastulata, above

Figure 80.  

Epirrhoe hastulata, underneath

Epirrhoe tristata (Linnaeus, 1758)


Figs 81, 82

Figure 81.  

Epirrhoe tristata, above

Figure 82.  

Epirrhoe tristata, underneath

Xanthorhoe ferrugata (Clerck, 1759)


Figs 83, 84

Figure 83.  

Xanthorhoe ferrugata, above

Figure 84.  

Xanthorhoe ferrugata, underneath


Results and discussion

Totally, 192 species of Larentiinae are recorded for Sweden (Elmquist et al. 2011, Bert Gustafsson listed 156 species occurring on Öland ( Currently, 41 species are recorded for the territory of the Station Linné, which comprises 26.3% of the Öland species and more than 21% of the Swedish larentiine fauna. Interestingly, 37 species were sampled during 22 nights of light trapping in summer 2014 and 2015, when the weather was not quite favorable for collecting. For comparison, a recent rapid biotic survey at a 365 hectare Charitable Research Reserve in Ontario (Canada) revealed only nine larentiine species (Telfer et al. 2015). An unusual biodiversity registered for a small collecting site on Öland can be explained by use of effective sampling methods.

Most of the larentiine species were collected using a UV light trap. The exceptions are as follows: one specimen of Eulithis testata and one specimen of Catarhoe cuculata were attracted only to the Mercury vapor lamp. The efficiency of different types of traps in this study should be compared with caution. The Mercury vapor trap and the surrounding vegetation was checked once at night between 11 p.m. and 12 p.m. and emptied in the morning, after completion of light trapping, whereas the UV trap has been checked continuously and the geometrid moths flying near the trap and sitting on the leaves of trees and bushes were collected permanently. Epirrhoe hastulata, E. tristata, Eupithecia exiguata and E. satyrata were recorded only in Malaise trap samples collected during July 24 – August 12, 2008, May 12 – June 5, 2008, June 5-21, 2008, and June 1-15, 2007 respectively.

Morphological differences within Gandaritis pyraliata (Denis & Schiffermüller)

A series of specimens presumably belonging to the species Gandaritis pyraliata have been collected. The specimens display variation in the wing pattern above and underneath, in the male genitalia (the shape of the saccus) and in the female genitalia (the length of the ductus bursae and the shape of the signum). The specimens require more detailed study.

Malaise trap sampling of Lepidoptera

Malaise traps are effectively used for collecting small flying insects for many decades, after the trap has been described by Malaise (1937). Although butterflies and moths are sometimes target groups of large-scale malaise trap sampling for ecological and conservation studies (e.g. Basset et al. 2007, Campbell and Hanula 2007, Lamarre et al. 2012), collecting Lepidoptera by means of malaise traps is a challenging method. Designed for Diptera and Hymenoptera, a malaise trap indeed effectively samples Lepidoptera, as they get trapped within the malaise tent, flying upward towards either the sun (during the day) or the moon (at night) (see Lamarre et al. 2012). However, the specimens fall into a collecting jar filled with Ethanol, whereby the wing scales rub off easily. Generally, only specimens with distinct wing pattern can be reliably identified from the samples in Ethanol. The older the samples are, the more difficult it is to get a correct identification of Lepidoptera. For small moths it is necessary to study the genitalia or to perform a molecular analysis. Considering the results of present study, using only malaise traps for sampling Lepidoptera is advisable for well-studied faunas. Traditional methods, like net sweeping, light trapping or bait-traps deliver more suitable results.


The study has been conducted at the Station Linné (Öland, Sweden) and at the Zoologische Staatssammlung München (ZSM, Germany). Dave Karlsson, Pelle Magnusson and other participants of the Swedish Malaise Trap Project made additional material available for study. Axel Hausmann (ZSM) is thanked for providing access to the ZSM material and for acting as an academic editor of the manuscript. Jaan Viidalepp and Vladimir Mironov are kindly acknowledged for valuable comments on the manuscript. The present paper is a side product of research dealing with recording the fauna of Microhymenoptera related to the Swedish Taxonomy Initiative (STI) and conducted on the Station Linné. Christer Hansson (Lunds Universitet, Sweden) is thanked for discussions on the flora and fauna of Öland and assistance during field work. Stefan Schmidt (ZSM) is acknowledged for providing images of light traps and for advice and support.


Supplementary material

Suppl. material 1: List of larentiine moth species (Lepidoptera: Geometridae) of the Station Linné 
Authors:  Schmidt, O.
Data type:  occurences
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