Biston (moth)

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Oak beauty, Biston strataria
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Euarthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Tribe: Bistonini
Genus: Biston
Leach, 1815
  • Dasyphara Billberg, 1820
  • Pachys Hübner, 1822
  • Eubyja Hübner, 1825
  • Amphidasis Treitschke, 1825
  • Amphidasys Sodoffsky, 1837
  • Amphidasea Unger, 1856
  • Buzura Walker, 1863
  • Culcula Moore, 1888
  • Eubyjodonta Warren, 1893
  • Blepharoctenia Warren, 1894
  • Epamraica Matsumura, 1910

Biston is a genus of large, long-winged moths belonging to the family Geometridae. It is most notable for containing the well-known peppered moth. The genus was first described by William Elford Leach in 1815.

Antennae of Biston species. 1 bipectinate, with long rami (male of Biston melacron) 2 bipectinate, with short rami (male of Biston thibetaria) 3 filiform (female of Biston betularia). Scale bar = 1 mm


The species of Biston are widely distributed in Holarctic, Oriental and Ethiopian regions.


Palpi short and hairy. Thorax stout and clothed with thick pile. Legs hairy. Hind tibia not dilated and with slight spurs present. Forewings with rounded apex and oblique outer margin. Vein 3 from near angle of cell. Veins 7 to 9 stalked from near upper angle and veins 10, 11 stalked, where 10 often connected with veins 8 and 9. Hindwings with long cell and vein 3 from the angle.[1]


The genus currently contains 54 species and 40 subspecies.


Species include:


  1. ^ Hampson, G. F. (1895). The Fauna of British India, Including Ceylon and Burma: Moths Volume III. Taylor and Francis – via Biodiversity Heritage Library.