Marsh Pug Geometridae

Eupithecia pygmaeata (Hubner, 1799)

Description: Wingspan 14-16 mm. Forewings rather pointed and generally dark brown in colour, with a small white dot at the inner angle of the wing and two dark spots at the costal edge. Hindwings similar in colour with a pale dot at the tornal margin.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Skinner gives May and June as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: Currently unknown. There have been no reliable records since 1973 when it was taken near Loughgall, Armagh. There are old records for Lissan Estate and Stewartstown, Tyrone back in the early 1920s.

Ecology: A rare and local species mainly associated with fens, grassy areas and other wetland sites. Accroding to Skinner the larvae feed throughout June and July on the flowers and seeds of Field Mouse-ear Cerastium arvense. Its rareness could be related to the scarcity of its foodplant which is confined to eastern counties of N. Ireland and has not been reported in recent years.

World Distribution: Widespread throughout central and northern Europe as far east as the Urals

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1822 Agassiz number: 70.154

Additional information:

UK Moths account

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