Wormwood Pug Geometridae

Eupithecia absinthiata (Clerck, 1759)

Description: Wingspan 21-23 mm. Forewings reddish brown with poorly defined crosslines. There is a faint broken white sub-marginal line, two black costal blotches and a discal spot which are clearly evident against the uniform base colour. The hindwings are lighter with a faint pale-coloured tornal spot.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Beginning of May to late August. Skinner gives June and July as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: According to Baynes this species is common and widespread in Ireland and here it is one of the most commonly recorded pugs having been found in all counties. Like many species it has been most frequently encountered in southern counties.

Ecology: This species occurs in a wide variety of habitats and is frequently recorded from woodlands, fens, waste ground and occasionally mature suburban gardens. Adults come frequently to light in moderate numbers. The larvae feed from August to October on various composite species including Yarrow Achillea millefolium, Sea Aster Aster tripolium and Ragwort Senecio jacobaea. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; widespread throughout Europe east to the Urals.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1830 Agassiz number: 70.179

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=5918

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