Home > Moths > 7 June 2013 – A Litter of Pugs, and a Few Others.

7 June 2013

7 June 2013 – A Litter of Pugs, and a Few Others.

The weather continues with warm days and cold nights. Still having abnormally small catches, albeit interesting ones. I’ve met Dr. Chesmore in person for the first time today and had some wonderful conversation on his research and moth identification.

Grey Pug (Eupithecia subfuscata)
Mottled Pug (Eupithecia exiguata)

Pugs galore! Yesterday’s moth trap brought in a few more moths than we’ve been seeing, a good 5 separate species of pugs too: one White-spotted Pug, a Grey Pug (Eupithecia subfuscata), a Mottled Pug (Eupithecia exiguata), and two others that we were unable to identify. The pugs are all in the same genus (Eupithecia) as our White-spotted friend from the other day. The Grey Pug is new, bringing our species count to 259. The subfuscata in its scientific name refers to the Latin subfuscus, meaning ‘somewhat dusky,’ which is apparent in its coloration. The Grey Pug actually has two color variations. Ours is ab. obscurissima, which appears as a dark grey instead of the usual brownish color. The Mottled Pug has been seen around Shandy Hall before, though never photographed. Exiguus in Latin means ‘very small,’ although the Mottled Pug of normal size among pugs. The Mottled Pug was originally classified under the genus Geometra, and compared to other moths of the same genus was considered to be fairly small.

Parornix sp.

Our new micromoth yesterday was giving me a deal of trouble. The fellow is quite tiny and cute, but has been quite difficult to identify. (Patrick tells me my usage of ‘cute’ is very American.) We’ve narrowed him down as a member of the Parornix genus, although Dr. Chesmore told us it would be impossible to know the exact species without dissection, which Patrick and I did not agree to. We’re sticking to our promise that no moths will be harmed in the making of this blog! I think it may be a Parornix scoticella, though it also looks a good deal like the Parornix anglicella, which is much more common in Yorkshire. My co-worker at Shandy Hall, Kate Compton, has in the meantime affectionately nicknamed him Fred Astaire because of his little white spats. Can you see them?

Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda)

A Pale Tussock (Calliteara pudibunda) posed nicely for a picture atop an egg carton. The derivation of its scientific name is a bit odd. Calliteara may be from the Greek kallos ‘beauty’ and eär ‘spring,’ referring to a beautiful species found early in the year. Pudibundus can mean ‘modest’ but also ‘immodest’ or ‘disgraceful.’ It may be named so because of an anal tuft that hides the genitalia or egg-batch of the moth, or it may refer to the way the moth flaunts its legs. It is unclear what the person who named it meant.

Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata)

Today’s catch only brought in three moths and one micromoth. The Clouded-bordered Brindle (Apamea crenata) has quite an interesting wing pattern, so I’ve added a photograph. Apamea actually refers to a town in Asia Minor and has no relevance to the appearance or behavior of the moth at all. Crenatus refers to the ‘notched’ line parallel to the bottom of the wings.

– Post by Jane Wu