Wednesday 29 July 2015

Lime-Speck Pug moth, Islay's 3rd and 4th

Over the last month we've been watching Cinnabar Moths emerge from their pupae from a tray full of soil housed in a little butterfly 'pavillion' in our Sea Tanks room at the centre. This in itself has been fascinating, but for the last 2 weeks or so no more Cinnabar moths have emerged, meaning that all the ones that were coming out are out. However, last Wednesday when I was still checking as usual, I saw 2 moths in there that looked very different, and a quick look in one of our library books revealed them to be Lime-Speck Pugs (Eupithecia centaureata). Apparently they overwinter as a pupa in loose earth or among plant debris, similarly to the Cinnabar moth which overwinters as a flimsy cocoon just under the ground. Very nice little critter the Lime-speck Pug, and one I've never seen before. And it seems that, although they are common in England, they are much scarcer in Scotland, and there are only two previous records of them for Islay on our database, both caught in Bowmore last year. You never know what the day will bring! Mandy

One Lime-speck Pug

A second Lime-speck Pug

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