Thyme Pug Geometridae

Eupithecia distinctaria Guenee, 1857

Description: Wingspan 16-18 mm. Forewings light brown with dark costal patches and a black discal spot. The colour darkens towards the outer margin and there is a fine white wavy line which is visible on fresh specimens. Hindwings paler and suffused with a darker brown at the outer margin. There is also a small fine discal spot towards the costal margin.

Key Identification Features:

Sets:  male upperside

Flight Period: Recorded in June in N. Ireland. Skinner gives June and July as the normal flight period in Britain.

Status: Primarily a coastal species in N. Ireland although there are old records from other counties. The only recent records are from the Umbra, Londonderry in 1994 and Monawilkin, Fermanagh in 1992.

Ecology: A scarce species with a preference for rocky coastal areas and limestone hills where the foodplant grows. It may be more widespread than records indicate, especially in localities along the north and east coast. The larvae feed from late August and throughout September on the flowers of Wild Thyme Thymus polytrichus. It overwinters as a pupa.

World Distribution: Widespread across Europe east to Asia Minor and southwards to North Africa.

Bradley & Fletcher number: 1843 Agassiz number: 70.172

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=5931

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