British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)

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L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia exiguata (Hübner)

Trimaculata Haworth, ochreata Stephens, exiguaria Boisduval, lanceolaria Wood.

Mottled Pug.

Adults. Thorax neither white nor white-striped. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 21–25 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate; margin convexly curved; more or less straight; apically somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned to dingy; light grey, whitish mixed, with obtusely angulated rather dark fuscous striae and a biangulate postmedian fascia, the veins partially black-marked especially towards the posterior edge of this near the discal spot, the interrupted subterminal band conspicuously exhibiting three dark patches. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark elongate to dot-like (sub-oval); not whitish-edged; black and distinct. Forewings without a tornal spot. Forewing fringes somewhat chequered (only indistinctly barred darker).

Hindwings grey-whitish, with grey striae more distinct dorsally and postmedianly; less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; fairly conspicuously patterned; transversely striated (usually, the striae sharp to faint), or without transverse striation; with a clear discal mark (this dark grey); without a pale tornal spot; the fringes not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned, or plain; neither ringed nor banded nor white-based; in the male with a black lateral streak.

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 a single sclerotized patch with entire apex (this narrow-elongate from a broad base). The bursa copulatrix with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution (distal); conspicuously spiny.

Early stages, ecology. Botanically polyphagous. Foodplants woody-dicotyledonous; Aceraceae, Berberidaceae, Caprifoliaceae, Cornaceae, Grossulariaceae, and Salicaceae. The larvae found on hawthorn, blackthorn, rowan, ash, maple, Berberis, Cornus, sallows, Ribes, Symphoricarpos, etc.; feeding on flowers, buds, and leafy shoots (?).

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad May and June; larvae found August, September, and October. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (widespread and generally common except in Scotland).

Special key characters. Forewings without a postmedian line bearing arrow-like markings; light brown, or pale fuscous, or pale grey. The fifth and sixth fasciae twice markedly interrupted (i.e., above and below the middle). Hindwings whitish, or light brown, or pale fuscous, or pale grey.

Illustrations. • E. exiguata (Mottled Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. exiguata (Mottled Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. exiguata (Mottled Pug), with other Pugs: Swain. • E. exiguata (Mottled Pug), with other Pugs. • E. exiguata (Mottled Pug), with other Pugs: Newman.


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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