Foxglove Pug

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Foxglove Pug
Eupithecia pulchellata.jpg
Eupithecia pulchellata1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Insecta
Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Geometridae
Genus: Eupithecia
Species: E. pulchellata
Binomial name
Eupithecia pulchellata
Stephens, 1831[1]
Synonyms
  • Eupithecia pulchellata var. digitaliata Dietze

The Foxglove Pug (Eupithecia pulchellata) is a moth of the family Geometridae. It has a scattered distribution across Europe, closely following the range of its food plant. Where present it can be very common.

The wingspan is 18–22 mm and the species is quite colourful for the genus, with alternating bands of dark brown and buffish orange on the forewings. In some races the buff bands can be very pale. The hindwings are similarly marked but generally paler. It flies at night in May and June and is attracted to light.

The larva is quite variable but is normally yellowish-green with purplish markings. It usually feeds inside foxglove flowers. Soon after hatching it seals the mouth of the flower with silk and feeds on the reproductive parts of the flower. The corolla of the flower persists on the plant after those of uninfested flowers have fallen. Somewhat surprisingly, given this very specialized feeding ecology, it has also been recorded feeding on Brassica oleracea in Malta.[2] The species overwinters as a pupa.

Subspecies[edit]

  • Eupithecia pulchellata pulchellata
  • Eupithecia pulchellata grisearia Schwingenschuss, 1939
  • Eupithecia pulchellata hebudium Sheldon, 1899
  • Eupithecia pulchellata intermedia Dietze, 1913

References[edit]

  • Chinery, Michael Collins Guide to the Insects of Britain and Western Europe 1986 (Reprinted 1991)
  • Skinner, Bernard Colour Identification Guide to Moths of the British Isles 1984