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70.187 (BF1838)

Tawny Speckled Pug   

Eupithecia icterata
Adult: 2
Resident, common, widespread. Widespread in Britain although restricted to low land in Scotland, There has been a significant decline in distribution and abundance since 1970.


Care required to separate from other ‘pugs.’Two forms of this large pug occur in our region. The typical one has the orange patch on the forewing making it very distinctive and contrasting with form cognata which is a dark grey-brown moth with whitish cross-lines.

Recording method

Adult can be found feeding on flowers, comes to light in small numbers.

Life cycle

One generation. Overwinters as a pupa. Larvae are present September to October.

Larval foodplants

Yarrow and Sneezewort flowers and leaves.


A wide variety of habitats.


First recorded for Dumfries and Galloway in 1870 for VC73 in Colvend parish by White, in 1898 for VC74 at Corsemalzie by Gordon and in 1936 for VC72 at Closeburn by Duncan.

The subspecies E. i. cognata Stephens, 1831 was first caught at Corsemalzie (VC74) on 31st July 1898 by the Gordon brothers. The second was trapped at Portling (VC73) on 23rd June 1996 and now resides at the National Museums Scotland. The third was trapped at Torrs Warren (VC74) on 7th August 1997 and verified by Roy Leverton as this form.

240 record(s) from 42 hectad(s) in D&G

VC74 VC73 VC72
Last recorded 2019 2021 2022

 UK Moths website - further information on species (with photos)

 East Scotland Butterfly Conservation website - national distribution maps and phenology

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