Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Pugs - Pipits of the Moth World

Dwarf Pug - West Hill 2007 - a locally distributed species - the caterpillars feed on various conifer species.

A lot of moth trappers or 'mothers' seem to give the pugs a wide berth. Some make a point of just not bothering with them - a bit like some birders with pipits or gulls. They are undoubtedly tricky and the subtle patterns on the wings soon wear off rendering many of them unidentifiable. When I was trapping I really enjoyed the challenge of sussing them out but I'll be the first to admit that mistakes were often made. In fact I'm not even 100% certain the 21 pugs illustrated here are what I think they are. All the pugs are small and unassuming. They are easily overlooked in the trap and don't always pose for their photos. They all however share a similar resting posture and have a unique (almost) shape among macro moths.

Freyer's Pug (ssp arceuthata)- Rockbeare 2007

Common Pug - Rockbeare 2007

Oak-tree Pug - Rockbeare 2007 - caterpillars feed on Hawthorn as well as Oak.

Grey Pug - Rockbeare 2007 - a bit unsure about this one!

Mottled Pug - Rockbeare 2007

Brindled Pug - Rockbeare - 2007

Double-striped Pug - Rockbeare 2007 - I used to trap tonnes of these.

Foxglove Pug - Rockbeare 2007 - a lovely species - pretty common.

Bordered Pug - Rockbeare 2006 - a bird dropping mimic!

Lime-speck Pug - Rockbeare 2008 - another bird dropping mimic.

Green Pug - Rockbeare 2008 - not so easy once the green has worn off.

Haworth's Pug - Topsham 2008 - orange'ish belt around abdomen but still feel a bit uneasy about the id of this one.

V-Pug - Rockbeare 2008 - an easy one to identify.

Netted Pug - Provence 2009

Wormwood Pug (I think) - Rockbeare 2006 

Cypress Pug - Rockbeare 2006 - the caterpillars feed on Monterey Cypress and other cultivars.

Shaded Pug - Topsham 2007

Narrow-winged Pug - Topsham 2007 - the caterpillars feed on heather flowers.

Maple Pug - Topsham 2007 - the caterpillars eat Field Maple flowers.

White-spotted Pug - Rockbeare 2007

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