Saturday, August 15, 2009

A pug of a response....

I have recieved some good advice from Harry Eales our Dragonfly recorder and, it has to be said, an entomologist of some eminence -

Hello Stewart,

Now you know why thousands of records of Pugs submitted to the old BRC were simply labelled Eupithecia spp.

I've always hated the Pugs and long ago came to the conclusion that apart from one or two very obvious species the rest should be ID'd by their genitalia. That's the only certain way to be sure.

I have both books on the British and Irish Pugs as well as many other moth books. None are really of any help and life sized pictures are really a waste of time, what is needed is a book with the insects shown four or five times their actual size. Pugs are so variable and many species have dark or melanic forms especially here in the NE.

One struck me as Foxglove Pug but the grey one, that's definately a 'nads job'.

I wish I could be more helpful, but I'm afraid I'm not too well up on them at all.




And Toms Tams our moth recorder adds -

Hi Stewart

Your first moth looks okay for White-spotted Pug

Who suggested Tawny-speckled Pug race cognata because I think he is spot on with the id, I have looked on mapmate and we have plenty of records for Tawny-speckled Pug Eupithecia icterata subfulvata but none for this race as yet, but this does not mean it has not occured before as some recorders class them all under Eupithecia icterata sp

I take it you know the other is a Rosy Minor



So thats that then. I'll look at the easy ones in future and as for the others, well, short of 'dadding' them with a rolled up Daily Mirror I'll give them a miss.


Anonymous said...

Harry`s spot on with his analysis of Pugs. Nightmare family to id.

Bennyboymothman said...

Agreed, especially as they are so flimsy and get worn in no time!

Stewart said...

Yes I'll learn from it....

Skev said...


Yes - worn and melanic pugs are almost impossible, but most fresh and marked pugs can usually be sorted out. Like everything else, you start to get a feel for them the more you see - especially their size/shape differences and different flight times. Remember how phylloscopus warblers and stints/sandpipers all looked pretty much the same when you first started looking (or is that just me!).

Have you got broadband e-mail? I'll send a few photos later this week if you like.