The Pug Moths of Nottinghamshire
Pug Moths are distinctive in their shape, yet are reknowned for posing a notoriously difficult identification threat, even to the most experienced entomologists.

To add to their difficulty, many species are often quite variable in background colouration on both sets of wings, have rather diffuse or indistinct markings (if any) and to add further difficulty, often have melanic forms to make identification even more impossible.

Some species though, are more straight-forward and easy to identify.

This page now features photographs of 25 of the 40 species of Pug found in Nottinghamshire. Most are commonly occurring moths and regularly attracted to MV light traps. It is only intended as a starting guide to help point people in the right direction towards any identification, should they come across any of the species illustrated. Accurate determination to species level is best achieved by genitalia dissection, although males can often be identified by the characteristic shape of the sclerotised plate, found by removed the scales from the underside of the abdomen.
Similar species

While all Pugs have a characteristic resting posture, which will enable easy recognition, there are a couple of common moths which possibly may cause confusion. Single-dotted Wave (Idaea dimidiata) and Small Dusty Wave (Idaea seriata) are two examples of moths which resemble most Pugs in resting posture.

Nottinghamshire species

Pugs belong to the sub-family Larentiinae (Carpets, Pugs and allies) which is found within the family Geometridae. Most Pugs belong to the Genus Eupithecia, although there are single examples of Gymnoscelis and Chloroclystis, along with two representatives of the Genus Pasiphila. Although Dentated Pug (Anticollix sparsata) has been recorded from Nottinghamshire, it differs structurally from the true Pugs, by lacking any sclerotised plate on the underside of the abdomen and is not listed in the species list below.

A total of 42 species of Pug are presently on the Nottinghamshire moth list. But Nottinghamshire and most other UK counties recently lost two Pug species from their county lists, when both Ash Pug and Ling Pug (formerly regarded as being seperate species in their own right) were reclassified as being forms of Angle-barred Pug and Narrow-winged Pug respectively.

The scientific species names, numbering system and order of species, are those used in the Checklist of the Lepidoptera of the British Isles (D. Agassiz, S. Beavan, R. Heckford. 2013). The old Bradley and Fletcher numbers are shown in grey.

70.141 1862 Gymnoscelis rufifasciata Double-striped Pug (Haworth, 1809)
70.142 1858 Chloroclystis v-ata V-Pug (Haworth, 1809)
70.143 1859 Pasiphila chloerata Sloe Pug (Mabille, 1870)
70.144 1860 Pasiphila rectangulata Green Pug (Linnaeus, 1758)
70.145 1861 Pasiphila debiliata Bilberry Pug  (Hübner, [1817]) 
70.146 1813 Eupithecia haworthiata Haworth's Pug (Doubleday, 1856)
70.147 1811 Eupithecia tenuiata Slender Pug (Hübner, 1813)
70.148 1812 Eupithecia inturbata Maple Pug (Hübner, 1817)
70.150 1816 Eupithecia linariata Toadflax Pug ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
70.151 1817 Eupithecia pulchellata Foxglove Pug (Stephens, 1831)
70.154 1822 Eupithecia pygmaeata Marsh Pug (Hübner, 1799)
70.155 1823 Eupithecia venosata Netted Pug (Fabricius, 1787)
70.156 1852 Eupithecia abbreviata Brindled Pug (Stephens, 1831)
70.157 1853 Eupithecia dodoneata Oak-tree Pug (Guenée, 1857)
70.158 1854 Eupithecia pusillata Juniper Pug ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
70.160 1835 Eupithecia tripunctaria White-spotted Pug (Herrich-Schäffer, 1852)
70.161 1851 Eupithecia virgaureata Golden-rod Pug (Doubleday, 1861)
70.162 1857 Eupithecia tantillaria Dwarf Pug (Boisduval, 1840)
70.163 1856 Eupithecia lariciata Larch Pug (Freyer, 1842)
70.164 1824 Eupithecia egenaria Pauper Pug (Herrich-Schäffer, 1848)
70.165 1845 Eupithecia pimpinellata Pimpinel Pug (Hübner, 1813)
70.166 1842 Eupithecia simpliciata Plain Pug (Haworth, 1809)
70.168 1846 Eupithecia nanata Narrow-winged Pug (Prout, 1938)
70.169 1848 Eupithecia innonata Angle-barred Pug (Hufnagel, 1767)
... ... ........ Eupithecia innonata f. fraxinata ........ Ash Pug - Now regarded as being a form of Angle-barred Pug
70.171 1844 Eupithecia indigata Ochreous Pug (Hübner, 1813)
70.173 1825 Eupithecia centaureata Lime-speck Pug ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
70.174 1820 Eupithecia insigniata Pinion-spotted Pug (Hübner, 1790)
70.175 1826 Eupithecia trisignaria Triple-spotted Pug (Herrich-Schäffer, 1848)
70.176 1827 Eupithecia intricata Freyer's Pug (Zetterstedt, 1839)
70.177 1828 Eupithecia satyrata Satyr Pug (Hübner, 1813)
70.179 1830 Eupithecia absinthiata Wormwood Pug (Clerck, 1759)
... ... ........ Eupithecia absinthiata f. goossensiata ........ Ling Pug - Now regarded as being a form of Wormwood Pug
70.180 1833 Eupithecia expallidata Bleached Pug (Doubleday, 1856)
70.181 1821 Eupithecia valerianata Valerian Pug (Hübner, 1813)
70.182 1832 Eupithecia assimilata Currant Pug (Doubleday, 1856)
70.183 1834 Eupithecia vulgata Common Pug (Haworth, 1809)
70.184 1819 Eupithecia exiguata Mottled Pug (Hübner, 1809-13)
70.185 1836 Eupithecia denotata Campanula Pug (Hübner, 1813)
70.186 1841 Eupithecia millefoliata Yarrow Pug (Rössler, 1866) 
70.187 1838 Eupithecia icterata Tawny Speckled Pug (Villers, 1789)
70.188 1839 Eupithecia succenturiata Bordered Pug (Linnaeus, 1758)
70.189 1840 Eupithecia subumbrata Shaded Pug ([Denis & Schiffermüller], 1775)
70.190 1837 Eupithecia subfuscata Grey Pug (Haworth, 1809)
Double-striped Pug Eupithecia rufifasciata   V-Pug Chloroclystis v-ata
Sloe Pug Pasiphila chloerata   Green Pug Eupithecia rectangulata
Bilberry Pug Pasiphila debiliata   Haworth's Pug Eupithecia howarthiata
Maple Pug Eupithecia interbata   Toadflax Pug Eupithecia linariata
Foxglove Pug Eupithecia pulchellata   Marsh Pug Eupithecia pygmaeata
Brindled Pug Eupithecia abbreviata   Oak Tree Pug Eupithecia dodoneata
White-spotted Pug Eupithecia tripunctaria   Golden-rod Pug Eupithecia virgaureata
Pauper Pug Eupithecia egenaria   Plain Pug Eupithecia simpliciata
Narrow-winged Pug Eupithecia nanata   Ochreous Pug Eupithecia indignata
Lime-speck Pug Eupithecia centaureata   Freyer's Pug Eupithecia intricata
Satyr Pug Eupithecia satyrata   Wormwood Pug Eupithecia absinthiata
Valerian Pug Eupithecia valerianata   Currant Pug Eupithecia assimilata
Common Pug Eupithecia vulgata   Mottled Pug Eupithecia exiguata
Yarrow Pug Eupithecia millefoliata   Tawny Speckled Pug Eupithecia icterata
Bordered Pug Eupithecia succenturiata   Grey Pug Eupethicia subfuscata