6 June 2010

Cloaked Pug moth (Eupithecia abietaria)

A couple of days ago I spotted this rather large pug moth on a conifer trunk in the Austford area of Brede High Wood.

20100604 BHW pug moth cpt 3b 015

It looked to me like a cloaked pug (Eupithecia abietaria) and Colin Pratt, the Sussex lepidoptera recorder, has confirmed, subject to the size of the moth, that this determination is correct.

One was caught in 1986 about five miles from this location, otherwise this is only the second record for East Sussex in the past 100 years.

Apart from some scattered records, this species seemed to die out in Britain in the early 20th century, but has since been rediscovered in some places, maybe as a result of immigration from mainland Europe.

The caterpillars feed on the cones of Norway and Sitka spruce as well as noble fir.  There were several of the first two trees in the area where the moth was found so, hopefully, it is breeding there.

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