Common Pug Geometridae

Eupithecia vulgata (Haworth, 1809)

Description: Wingspan 18-21 mm. Forewings variable, ranging from pale brown to dark reddish brown, with crosslines which are not always evident. There are a series of darker patches and a fine pale broken sub-marginal line ending in a small but distinctive white spot. Hindwings similar colour with small black discal spot. Some individuals from coastal localities are more richly marked than their inland counterparts.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Adults have been taken in every month between of May and August. Skinner gives May and June and again in August as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: This is one of the most common and widespread pugs, recorded from all counties including Rathlin Island, Antrim.

Ecology: This species is found in a variety of habitats including woodland, heaths and suburban gardens. Adults are active from dusk onwards and appear frequently at light in small numbers. The larvae feed throughout the summer and autumn on and wide variety of plants and shrubs including willow Salix spp. Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna, Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and Ragwort Senecio jacobaea. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Eurasiatic; widespread throughout Europe to eastern Siberia.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1834 Agassiz number: 70.183

Additional information:

UK Moths account


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