British Insects: Pug moths (Lepidoptera-Geometridae)


L. Watson and M. J. Dallwitz

Pasiphila rectangulata (Linnaeus)

P. viridulata (Hufnagel), P. nigrosericeata (Haworth), P. sericeata (Haworth), P. subaerata (Hübner), P. rectangularia Boisduval.

Green Pug.

Adults. Posterior tibiae of males 4-spurred. Wingspan 19–23 mm. Forewings distinctly elongate to not noticeably elongate; the outer margin convexly curved; the costa more or less straight to arched; apically blunt to somewhat pointed.

Forewings relatively conspicuously patterned to dingy; usually green or green-tinged varying to whitish-greyish or pale brownish when faded, but melanism occurs; usually conspicuously darkly striated blackish-grey or fuscous, the edges of the median band black, its anterior edge curved and its posterior one twice-angulated (dentate) towards the costa with the lower angle more prominent; a subterminal dark fascia interrupted near the apex, the wavy subterminal line conspicuously whitish only in dark forms, the fringe conspicuously chequered. Forewings with a dark discal mark. The discal mark elongate to dot-like; black and distinct. Forewing fringes not chequered.

Hindwings green, greenish to pale grey tinged greenish, to almost black; patterned similarly to the forewings; very conspicuously patterned to rather plain (matching the forewings); conspicuously to inconspicuously transversely striated (the several darker striae sharp and wavy), or without transverse striation; with a clear discal mark, or without a clear discal mark; the fringes not conspicuously chequered.

The abdomen conspicuously patterned; often green, with an entire black sub-basal band, or with an interrupted black sub-basal band (or black lateral spots); laterally neither black-streaked nor black-spotted.

Neuration. Forewing and hindwing neuration layout revealed in detail by conspicuous darkening (e.g, in f. nigrosericeata), or not conspicuously darkened. 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 two separate sclerotized components (these apically crossed). The bursa copulatrix conspicuously ornamented; with ornamentation conspicuously restricted in distribution; conspicuously spiny to only inconspicuously spiny; ornamented exclusively by two adjacent, narrow, curved transverse rows of tiny spines.

Early stages, ecology. Botanically specialised. Foodplants woody-dicotyledonous; Rosaceae. The larvae found on Malus, Pyrus and Prunus species, occasionally injurious in orchards; feeding on flowers.

Months of appearance, distribution. Adults abroad late May, June, and July; larvae found April and May. South-east England, Central-southern England, South-west England, English Midlands, Northern England, Southern Scotland, Northern Scotland, Wales, and Ireland (locally common except the Outer Hebrides and northern isles).

Melanism. Melanic imagines frequent. Variants include the melanic f. anthrax, with the wings black and unmarked save for the forewing discal spot and obscurely pale subterminal fore- and hindwing lines, while in f. nigrosericeata they are pale to dark fuscous with darkened nervures, obsolete sometimes greenish-tinged striae and somewhat more conspicuous subterminal lines.

Special key characters. Forewings yellowish, or green or greenish when fresh, or blackish. The postmedian forewing line twice-angulated (dentate) near the costa. The subterminal line not whitish throughout. Hindwings greenish when fresh, or not predominantly green, yellow, or black; green, or greenish, or pale fuscous, or fuscous, or pale grey, or blackish, or black.

General comments. The undersides of the hindwings with an angulate postmedian line.

Illustrations. • P. rectangulata (Green Pug) varieties, with larva: Barrett. • Forms of P. rectangulata (Green Pug), with P. debiliata (Bilberry Pug) and Chloroclystis v-ata: South. • P. rectangulata (Green Pug), with P. debiliata and Chloroclystis v-ata. • P. rectangulata: forewing and hindwing neuration.

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.’.