Foxglove Pug Geometridae

Eupithecia pulchellata (Stephens, 1831)

Description: Wingspan 18-22 mm. Forewings pale ochreous brown with a grey-coloured central band which is clearly visible in fresh specimens. The ground colour is variable and with paler forms often predominating at coastal sites. There is a small black discal spot towards the median area of the forewing. Hindwings similar in appearance with a small dark-coloured discal spot. There is also a whitish-grey sub species hebudium that is found in the west of Wales, Scotland and Ireland.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Beginning of May to early August. Skinner gives May to August as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: Widespread and frequently encountered in southern counties especially in north Down, where it occurs in a variety of habitats.

Ecology: A large distinctive pug associated with woodland, moorland and probably many other areas where its foodplant occurs commonly. Adults come frequently to light in small numbers and often vary a little in size and pattern, with the coastal specimens being a little brighter and more richly marked. The larvae feed during July and August on the flowers of Foxglove Digitalis purpurea. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; widespread throughout central Europe as far east as the Urals.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1817 Agassiz number: 70.151

Additional information:

UK Moths account


 Thompson, R. S. & Nelson, B., 2003 (Oct 2). [In] The Butterflies and Moths of Northern Ireland