British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Eupithecia pusillata (Denis & Schiffermüller)

E. sobrinata Hübner, E. sobrinaria Boisduval, E. scotica Dietze.

Juniper Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 19–22 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate to not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight to arched; apically blunt.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned to dingy; dark fuscous, brownish grey or brown, sometimes faintly reddish tinged, with fairly distinct to indistinct darker or fuscous angulated striae often more strongly marked on the costa; postmedian line and fascia biangulate; the veins towards the edges of the median band and the basal half of the median vein black-marked so that the postmedian line exhibits small basally-pointing dark triangles, those near the dorsum elongate and often more prominent; the pale subterminal line obscure and interrupted, more empasized at the tornus. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark shortly elongate; usually posteriorly whitish-edged; black and distinct. Forewings with a pale tornal spot (though this sometimes obscure). Forewing fringes conspicuously chequered to not chequered.

Hindwings with dark striae of variable intensity and sometimes obsolete, and an entire dark terminal line; patterned similarly to the forewings to less conspicuously patterned than the forewings; conspicuously patterned to rather plain; conspicuously to only faintly and dorso-postmedianly transversely striated, or without transverse striation; without a clear discal mark (perhaps with a trace of one); without a pale tornal spot; the fringes conspicuously chequered to not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen plain; neither ringed nor banded nor white-based; laterally neither black-streaked nor black-spotted.

Genitalia. The male abdominal plate in the form of a single sclerotized patch with a pair of apical extensions (the prongs short). The bursa copulatrix with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution (over the distal half); rather coarsely, conspicuously spiny.

Early stages, ecology. Botanically supposedly specialised. Foodplants Gymnospermous; Cupressaceae. The larvae found on Juniperus, Thuja and Chamaecyparis.

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

Melanism. Melanic imagines frequent. Unlike those of E. trisignaria, E. tripunctaria, E. subfuscata, E. virgaureata and E. lariceata, melanic forms of this species including the very dark fuscous-blackish f. nigrofasciata retain vestiges the 'normal' fasciae and lines.

Special key characters. Forewings with small dark arrow-like markings pointing inwards from the postmedian line. Hindwings pale ochreous, or light brown, or brown, or fuscous, or grey, or light brown and ochreous.

Illustrations. • E. pusillata (Juniper Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. subumbrata, E. irriguata, E. indigata and E. pusillata, with larvae: Barrett. • E. pusillata (Juniper Pug), with larva: Barrett. • E. pusillata (Juniper Pug), with similar Pugs: South. • E. pusillata, with 9 other pugs illustrated by Hubner (1790–1817). • E. pusillata (Juniper 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.’.