Netted Pug Geometridae

Eupithecia venosata (Fabricius, 1787)

Description: Wingspan 21-24 mm. Adults are cryptic and difficult to detect when at rest on lichen-coloured rocks in coastal sites. Forewings rounded at the apex and variable in colour, ranging from light to dark brownish grey, with distinct black-coloured crosslines. Hindwings pale whitish brown, darker towards the outer margin, with a small dark discal spot. Specimens from the west of Ireland are generally much darker in appearance.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Only recorded once in recent times in June. Skinner gives May and June as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: Little was known about the current status of this species up until June 2003 when three specimens were taken on John's Island off the Down coast. It was previously recorded there back in 1975. Other N. Ireland records come from Rathlin Island, Antrim in l971, the Strangford Narrows, Down where it was taken by Canon G. Foster in 1933 and two early 19th century records from Magilligan, Londonderry and Crawfordsburn, Down.

Ecology: A large, attractive and distinctive pug with a coastal distribution in N. Ireland, favouring rocky shoreline where the foodplant is common. Adults are attracted to light in small numbers. The larvae feed during June and July on the seed pods of Sea Campion Silene maritima. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; widespread across Europe eastwards to Asia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1823 Agassiz number: 70.155

Additional information:

UK Moths account

Caterpillar: 

 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland
http://www.ulstermuseum.org.uk/lepidoptera/species.asp?item=5223

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